December 18, 2012

instead, spread kindness

I have been telling Will since Friday that I can't seem to stop crying when I watch or read or hear, and yet, I also cannot stop watching and reading and hearing. In some ways I'm glad. I'm glad that this is affecting us so strongly. Because maybe this time, if we are unable to forget, we will be able to make something happen to change it. I'm ready for that. I'm angry. Give me a petition to sign or a march to march in or a law to vote on. I'm in. I'm angry and I'm in.

But anger, as we have surely seen in these last days, does no good. Marches and bills and petitions are all in the future, made possible by people who are not me, and power that I do not have. It is not immediate enough to say "we will fix this" even though I do, so very desperately, hope that we do.

So instead, I've decided to do something I can do. And that is to spread a little kindness out into the world. The opposite of horror is, I think, kindness. The opposite of hate is love. So in the face of horror and hate, let's spread kindness and love. Every day, people. Not just until Christmas, every day.

Yesterday my kids were home sick, and I'll be honest, I was kind of glad about that. Today I dropped them off at school and it was hard, harder than I expected. Especially when it came to leaving Evie in her first grade classroom. It's taking a lot right now for me not to go back to school and bring them home. It's what my heart wants to do. But my head tells me otherwise. Drop them off. Kiss them goodbye (or in Briton's case, get a nod and a "not here mom!" look when I try) go home, get to work. Instead, I drove to the nearest place that sells coffee and handed the cashier some money to buy someone else a cup, or two, or three. However long it lasts. Because I needed to feel something other than sad. It's not heroic. It's a couple of cups of coffee. But, at least I hope, it will make someone's day, or make it a little better. And if we make everyone's day a little better, maybe something good will come of that.

Friends, there is a lot of divisiveness out there right now. A lot of anger. And I'm with you, I'm angry too. Sad and broken and angry. We need to get something done. We do. But while we are fighting that battle, let's spread some kindness where we can. Do something today, something small for someone you don't know. And then do it again tomorrow. And the next day. And I will too. If we all do it, well, can you imagine a world like that?