I’ve cried so many tears for Florida. My husband and I have debated the politics. My fellow teachers and I have discussed the next steps, and my pack of moms and I have cried. We all grapple with where to place our energy at times like this because–quite honestly– there have been too many times like this. The kind of hurt brewing in the bellies of those children, parents, and teachers in Parkland, Florida is a kind that ebbs and flows without warning. The aftermath of something this catastrophic is so heavy it suffocates, leaving the rest of us feeling helpless, as we send our thoughts and prayers to those hurting.
However, in this time of our country’s paralysis, as we pick up the pieces and try to rebuild after another attack on our children and educators, there is something you and I can do while we ache for a better world. Even if I don’t have enough gifts to send, or cards to write, or hands to help, I STILL have love to give. And when it feels like there is nothing we can do to stop the hate, the sickness, the violence, we ALL have love to give.
As a teacher, mother, and human, I am sickened each time one of these horrific events occurs. It takes me a long time to process, and I still can’t make sense of anything like a mass shooting. I’m not sure where to place blame, or what to do with my anger, but honestly, those feelings make it seem like I’m on an emotional treadmill. Emotions like this don’t solve a thing, and they only serve up more anxiety. I need a different approach for my kids and students. We need a different approach as a country. We need to love each other. Here are five ways I plan to love more fiercely.
- See each other face-to-face. Shut down technology more often.
- If someone is hurting, show you care.
- Create small moments of happiness each day for anyone you can.
- Think of what people are carrying around emotionally before deciding who a person is.
- Listen more than you talk.
Friends, we need each other more now than we ever have. As a nation, we have taken the human out of humanity, and we thrive when we are together. As we hold our loved ones close and rack our brains for what we can do, let’s all remember, we can STILL love, and love is exactly what we need.