I’ve been thinking all day- thinking of all the ways I can say ‘I’m speechless’ by using words. Words are all I have. I don’t have a flag to fly at half-staff and I don’t even have a dusty candle to light. Words, though? Those I have. I have many colorful words that I could use to curse these people that plague our country and the world with violence, but I won’t spread more hate. I also have many words I could use to describe the sickening twist I felt in my gut when I read the news this morning. But instead of all that, I’m going to take a moment to talk about fear, hate, and love.
I’m terrified, not just because a community I am proud to be a part of has been attacked, but because this world has become atrocious. I feel comfortable at home and throughout my “stomping grounds”. I feel safe. But I’m sure the people of Orlando felt safe, too. I’m willing to bet most people in North Carolina had used the bathroom in peace, until recently. Now I’m afraid that I’ll be assaulted for how I look or possibly attacked for who I love.
Why should anyone feel threatened because of love?
How is that fair?
Love, pride, happiness, generosity, kindness, compassion, laughter, and good- I begin to worry that these beautiful rays of light will start to dwindle beneath the weight of darkness.
Prayers will help build spirit, but we as individuals are responsible to change. We must shine brighter and show the darkness that no matter how hard it pushes, kindness is stronger. WE are stronger.
Let our love give us the strength to fight.
Earlier today I was convinced that I’d be safest if I kept to myself and traveled within certain limits, but then I’m handing the victory over to Hate. How then, as an individual, would I be assisting change? No, I will continue to love, live, and laugh. I will dance when a song I enjoy comes on and I will make sure to smile at strangers as I pass them on the street.
We are all human. Our hearts beat and we breath the same air. We love and we lose and most of us know what suffering feels like. We are all human.
Orlando, you have my love, my heart, and my dreams for peace. The victims and their families have my prayers. This is an attack that should’ve never happened. Lives that were being celebrated were instead lost.
Orlando, in the wake of this tragedy, I hope you never lose your pride.
Spread love. Spread peace. Spread kindness.