On Feb 14, 2018, a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. I typed these words the following day, which was a Thursday, the day we practice gratitude in our FB Group, Waves.
As I type these words, I don’t feel thankful at all.
My heart is heavy and my whole being aches with the pain I feel for what happened in our world yesterday. I awoke this morning knowing there are dozens of families reeling in the worst pain anyone can fathom- families who I know are praying that yesterday was a nightmare, and that hope beyond hope that what happened wasn’t true.
It’s Thursday though, and I am supposed to post about gratitude, even though I am far from feeling it. I could say that I am grateful that my precious daughter is alive and well, and although that is profoundly true, I also believe that we all lost children yesterday- and there is no gratitude to be found in that.
We are all connected, but there are degrees, and the separation from yesterday’s massacre was less than it has been to others. I doubt there is anyone in this group who doesn’t know of someone who was somehow connected to our Parkland neighbors.
On Valentine's Day, a day meant to celebrate love, we were reminded of what lack of love, or at least of the awareness of it, can do.
It may be futile- some may say overly simplistic, but this is what I believe:
Alone we may not be able to make a discernible difference, but, if we each strive to let light and love be what we put into the world, slowly, but surely, we can illuminate the corners where darkness prevails. Taking time to acknowledge another person, loved one or stranger, to truly SEE them- a smile at the grocery store, a sincere word of appreciation, a random act of kindness, or one that has been carefully planned and brought to fruition- these are some of our most powerful weapons against the horror that is manifesting in our world. They are small things that are within everyone’s abilities to do. They are things that should ignite love in everyone we touch with it, regardless their color, race, religion, or political beliefs. Today I will focus on this- instead of on the rage, grief and anguish that I feel because of the massacre.
Today is Thankful Thursday, but right now gratitude feels like hypocrisy, and like a betrayal of sorts to those so close to us who are so deep in despair.
It takes a village and we are that village. All children are our children. So, today, I will take a pause from gratitude as I grieve with those so profoundly affected, and will search instead for light and love to bring with me as I pray for peace and solace for our Parkland family and for our world.