I'm still trying to wrap my head around the events in Orlando (FL).
There's a lot to process as I read through my news feed, scroll through Facebook, and watch various news reports.
I know one thing for sure. My first emotion was anger, and I think it's okay and justified to be angry. However, when that anger turns to hate, I've crossed a line. And let me tell you, hate has entered into my heart more than once for various reasons.
Two reminders keep entering my head and my heart to release the hate and hold on to love and hope.
One was a quick sound bite on a special Dateline last night. It was a woman who said something to the effect that..."love must prevail. We are better than this."
The second was the picture at left (still trying to find who it belongs to in order to give props). One of my former students and her wife put it on Facebook last night. I put it as my profile picture and took a screen shot so that it's on my phone as well.
I need that constant reminder that love must prevail.
In a world where people are talking about banning Muslims, calling for radical Islamism, renewing the debate concerning firearms...is more or less the answer, etc., love is what I hold on to.
I'm sure that some will say my reaction is such a hippie, hold each others' hands, kumbaya response.
You know what?
I don't care. Rather than get pulled into anger and hate, I choose peace. I choose to pray, to hope, and to love.
When I see the flags at half mast, I see that our country is connected. We are mourning together. Each time I've seen a flag today, it has reminded me to pray for the victims. I'm also reminded to be appreciative of this day, to let my loved ones know how much they mean to me, and to be kind.
When I see the candlelight vigils that happened across the country last night, it reminds me that our country knows how to come together. The challenge is to stay together beyond this tragedy.
That's why it's imperative that we have "more love, less hate."
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.