When I started this blog I thought I’d focus on health, fitness and use my own journey as an example for others. Perhaps give someone an idea or a spark of inspiration that would provide a sense of community and to allow them to know they are not alone in the struggle to improve their health.
I’ve been shocked, appalled and saddened by the events of this last week and after spending some time reading, sharing and liking a variety of stories and posts about the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School I can’t not say something and I hope you will too.
Today is also the day when I was supposed to donate blood in honor of my friend Alma’s daughter, but due to a cold I’m ineligible, but have rescheduled for later in the month and the donation will still count. I’m sad I can’t be there, but I’ll still stop by to say hello.
On the other side of the swing is the excitement of the Winter Olympics and celebration of these amazing athletes who have worked so hard to get to this level of performance. Their struggles among the successes show that it’s not all medals and podium victories. Many of them are using the games as a forum for expression and I applaud them for making a stance.
I realize that violence, struggle and even despair are natural occurrences in our human existence and that to think we are all going to get along is a ridiculous mindset. But what have we come to people? Even comments from others far away who have no understanding of mental health issues seem to be experts regarding the Florida shooting and other occurrences in recent months. Social media and our ability to be our own television and news channels, even this outlet of my own to express my own opinion and offer a voice, still need to be done with candor, truth and respect for others. How and why have we gotten here and more importantly what can we do about it?
I confess I am not an expert in behavioral change, mental health, education or governmental policies. I am one voice and so are you. As a population, a country and decent people we must make a difference in our own community.
What will you do today to make someone’s day different than it might have been? Are you willing to donate blood, if you can’t do that can you say hello instead of aimlessly walking past a stranger on the street, could you spend 10 minutes less watching youtube videos and write a text to your grandmother (yes, elders do text) or someone you haven’t seen for a while to check how they are doing? And please really listen to what they say.
This bullshit of saying everything is fine is another element to our desensitized world. Really listen and be REAL people. There is a lot going on in all our lives under the surface. One reason I think we don’t share is a lack of trust, what will you do when a friend tells you he and his wife are having troubles in their marriage? Go tell someone else? Or spread the word? No give that guy a hug and know that there are always more to the story. Know that in that case you are only there to listen and support, not judge. Be a FRIEND!! Don’t take sides. Remember what you know about your friend and realize in that situation everyone is hurting and to make it about you and that you are in the “know” doesn’t help anyone. Just be there and listen.
What I do know for today and really that is all we each have at this time, is that I will hug my husband when he comes home from work, I will give my best in all the meetings and tasks I have to do today and I will realize that I can make a difference in one moment at a time. I still have today to do that and I hope you will too.