Archives for posts with tag: hate

Monday dawned sunny and bright. I was fortunate to awake to the sound of waves lapping at the lakeshore and the sun peeking over the hill top.

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(sunset shot the night before)

There was already a lot of ugly and sadness I could have focussed on if I had let myself. And I admit the temptation to let it swallow me whole was palpable, but I put my big girl panties on, pulled up my positive pants, threw on a great pair of shoes, straightened my tiara and topped it off with bright lipstick and mascara! Well in truth, I took a deep breath, threw back the covers and made a CHOICE to CHOOSE beautiful; to see it, believe it and channel it. And I made that choice over and over when the temptation to doubt tapped me on the shoulder.

Later in the day the headline on my news feed about Manchester appeared.  Manchester – a place from far away that I’ve always associated with sports and music for some reason until that head line. The choice to see beautiful became even more difficult. My shoulders slumped, I just felt heavy.  I felt raw and numb all at once. I think a lot of us did.

Tuesday morning Huffington Post reported “explosion killed 22 people and injured 59, many of them teenagers.”  at an Ariana Grande concert. I witnessed the feelings come out through social media and in the news.

A friend posted, “Tears for those who just went to a concert. Tears for the world.”

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A cousin asked,

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And then I read my friend Michelle’s eloquent and heart felt Facebook post and am honoured that she gave me permission to share her words with you. When things happen which are impossible to make sense of, in the end all we really want to do is keep our precious treasures, those we love, safe.

Bubble wrap.
I need so much Bubble Wrap.

You know… The stuff you use to keep the things that are most precious to you, safe from harm. We wrap them up so they don’t get broken.

Bubble Wrap… Safe, dependable Bubble Wrap.

It may give one peace of mind, but there isn’t enough bubble wrap in the world on a day like today. On any kind of day in a world like the one we live in this day.

“Prayers for…”
“Our hearts and thoughts…”
“We stand with…”

These phrases are like labels now. Words we use to tape together the Bubble Wrap that we place around our hearts and minds to help keep us sane enough from locking our children in their rooms and nailing shut our windows and doors to keep out all the Bogeymen outside that lurk within a world that keeps getting smaller, from stealing their innocence, our naivete, and our collective sense of normalcy.

There is nothing normal about any of this. Even though this insanity is quickly seeming to become the norm. Padded rooms were once for the insane and yet, here I am, wishing I could wrap every precious being in my world in Bubble Wrap. How insane is that? And yet, Bubble Wrap was my first wish… My first “logical to me” thought while my heart screamed “Why?” and it’s echoes throbbed through my head.

Just as “There are no words…” is heard echoing thoughout the world.

But there are words…
“Please.” and “Stop.”

And there are so many echoes.

Because there will never, ever be enough Bubble Wrap.

©Michelle Laing Hoffman 2017

 

But until that plea is answered, in amongst the tragic and terrible burns the eternal flame of human kindness and compassion.

Huffington Post reported, “Public transport shut down, and taxis offered to give stranded people free rides home, while residents opened their homes to provide lodging.”

As the BBC noted, Then there are people like this young man who says “We can react in a lot of ways. We can react in anger. Or we can react by doing. This city is a community.”   The news outlets are capturing more than the devastation and carnage, they are capturing the humanity, compassion and resilience as well.

I think Grande summed it up for many of us with her tweet, “broken. from the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry. I don’t have words.”

“When someone says, “There are no words,” it is there I will find them and we will meet in the silent language of grief.” Benjamin Allen

While I have no words left, I do have kindness and compassion, and with those I will continue to shine my light more brightly so the darkness has no place to grow.

Please.  Stop.

Shine Brightly.

 

©2017 JFries/Rise Like Air

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Today the world reels from yet another terrorist attack on everyday people doing everyday things.

The fact that the attacks on innocent everyday people in France occurred on World Kindness day somehow made it even more surreal.  I can’t help wondering if that was actually part of the plan.  But it doesn’t matter.

What matters is how we face this.  Not just the victims, not just the French, but the entire world, as individuals and as a whole.

For many of us our gut reaction is a desire for retaliation, revenge, an end to the needless slaughter any way possible.  An end to the fear that courses through our veins every time we hear the words ISIS or terrorist.

But I truly believe the words Martin Luther King Jr. said.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness;

Only Light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate;

Only Love can do that.

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On days like this, many of us want to forget those words in the raw and viseral emotions we are experiencing. Hating becomes so much easier than loving. It feels justified, powerful. But Martin Luther King, Jr. was and still is right. More hatred, more fighting will not solve this. It might temporarily stop it, it might drive it further underground, but it will not stop it from simmering and boiling over again at some other time.

Only Light and Love can truly tame the demon, the unruly beast.

And now, when it is truly the hardest to share our light and love, when we most want to hide it away and change our mask to something fierce and dark, it is the exact time we need to stand tall, and let our light and our love shine through the most strongly.

I encourage everyone to stand together and let our light and our love shine brilliantly so that there is no longer room for darkness, no shadows left to hide in.  Let there be only light and love and may we all be part of saving the world from the darkness that still has shadows to hide in.

I leave you with a quote from FB that Shane Koyzcan wrote this morning.

The wake of a tragedy often becomes an incubator for outrage. Many, with their prejudices already intact, will allow hate to reach further inward and surround their hearts with its grasp. We mustn’t let the those who carry out such atrocities become a symbol that represents the whole. There is no greater ignorance than to stand in judgement of an entire people based on the actions of a few.

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Sending much light, love, kindness and peace around the world today.  Standing in solidarity, shining brightly.  No shadows remain.

©2015 JFries/Rise Like Air

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When I woke up my social media this morning a wonderfully powerful very short video titled “4 year old has a perfect response to a boy in her class” was in my feed from HuffPost.   The little adorable face staring back at me with that wide smile guaranteed I was going to click play.

In case you don’t have Facebook, I’ll include the transcription from The Huffington Post article.

“What happened in school today?” her mom, Sonya, asks in the video. “A little boy said I looked … ugly,” Cici responded.

“And what did you say?” Cici’s mom asked.

“I said, ‘I didn’t come here to make a fashion statement. I came here to learn — not look pretty,'” Cici replied, adding, “The little boy said I looked ‘bad,’ and I said, ‘Did you look in a mirror lately? Bye bye, see you later, you’re making me mad.'”

All Right! This girl has attitude. She has confidence. She is beautiful inside and out. She is my Shero!  We can all learn something from this 4 year old.  It’s a lesson in standing up for ourselves.  It’s about learning how to treat people.  And how not to treat people.  It’s about being empowered.  It’s about fairness, kindness, growing up and parenting. She has just the right amount of sass.

But.  In the middle of all that. And in the middle of the smiles and giggles, did you notice what happened to that smiling little girl when her mother asked that one simple question?  “What happened at school today?”   She got a little more serious as she answered, “A little boy said I looked …” and then it happened, the awkward pause, the fading smile, the dimming eyes, and then that word…  “…ugly”.  As she remembered it, then said it, it was like “it” was happening all over again.  The power, the life, was being sucked away.

And then, as her mother asked her what happened next, she embraced her power and her smile returned as she recounted her response to the little boy.

That word, that one hurtful word in a hurtful sentence.  You can hear the impact, feel it and see it like a fist to the stomach.  How much power it wielded, but like a true mighty girl, a real life super hero, Cici got right back up and won the round with oh so much class.

The empowering poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou came to mind.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

(excerpt from “Still I Rise”)

That word may have cut, it may have stung but Cici had nothing to apologize for, nothing to feel bad about and she let him know where she stood on the subject in no uncertain terms.

Her spirit and fire again brought to mind Maya Angelou’s strength and power that are so evident in another of her famous poems.  Gavin Aung Than, founder of Zen Pencils captured her essence beautifully in his adaptation of “Phenomenal Woman” in June 2014.

image from Zen Pencil's  #153 Maya Angelou Phenomenal Woman

image from Zen Pencil’s #153 Maya Angelou Phenomenal Woman

While Cici may not be a woman yet, she certainly is a phenomenal girl on her way to being a phenomenal woman.

I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

(excerpt from “Phenomenal Woman”)

In closing I want to reiterate that the impact of that one word can’t be denied.  How easy it is to hurt, to scar, in one moment of anger, of hurting, or of simply not thinking, the damage that can be wrought.  Never doubt the power of your words, or how long the effect can be felt. Language is gift that should always be used with care and wisdom.  For as easy as it is to cause hurt and to leave scars, it is really just as simple to encourage, empower, embolden and inspire.  The next time you put a string of words together, think about what they might do to the person hearing them. What choice are you going to make?

© 2015 JFries / Rise Like Air

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