Spread More Light

As I reflect on the events of the last week here in Massachusetts, I feel heavy. Just heavy and sad. I feel the weight of the sadness so many victims and their families now face. The immense and unbearable grief. The beautiful lives lost. The shattered dreams. The long road back to a life that will never be the same. A life faced missing a limb, a loved one, or faith in humanity.

And this is where I experience the most heaviness. As a 19-year-old teenager was captured, my Facebook feed filled up with cries to make him suffer. To tear off his limbs, help him heal, and then kill him. To hang him from the highest post.

These comments frighten me. Of course I understand the anger. My sister, brother-in-law, and baby niece lived just blocks from the suspects. My Alma mater was evacuated because the suspect was a student there. Campus is still closed today. Meanwhile three others were brought in for questioning just 20 minutes from my home.

But what has become of us if we meet anger and violence with more anger and violence? What happens if we don't stop to consider why a 19 year old teenager-a United States citizen-would commit such a heinous act? What have we taught our children when we spew horrible, hateful things into the world in response to horrible, hateful actions?

Of course I want justice. Of course everyone responsible should be punished. But what will be left of us when the criminals are convicted and punished?

What will become of us? Who will we be? 

Please stop the hateful rhetoric. Redirect your energy.
Be kind to your neighbors.
Hug your children and tell them you love them everyday.
Sing.
Practice random acts of kindness.
Stop texting and smile at strangers on the street.
Make art.
Get off Facebook and meet a friend for coffee in person.
Take a walk in nature.
Deliver a hot meal to a shut-in.
Do whatever positive act feels right to you.

Stop the violence.
Stop the hating.
Spread more light.

Our world needs you.
From Peter H. Reynolds

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