The world is horribly messed up. But amid all the darkness and misery I am beginning to see some positive signs.
Strange as it might sound, I started to feel this way after last week’s tragic shootings at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. It was the reaction of the students who survived.
Because despite their shock, their fear, their anger, their sadness and grief they found strength. They found the strength, the courage and resolve to speak out and fight back. So, by the way did the parents of some of the victims.
They found the strength and the courage and the resolve to name names, to call out the president, to call out the NRA, to call out all those who turn the other cheek and offer “prayers and condolences” instead of doing something, instead of changing laws that need to be changed, instead of protecting children and other innocent victims, of putting first amendment rights over their right to be safe in their schools and parks, in their movie theatres and shopping malls, in their parking lots and streets.
These students are informed, eloquent and passionate — wise beyond their years. They are committed, determined and will not be silenced until something is done. They are united with each other and with students and teachers and parents across the country. They are giving interviews, they are staging protests and strikes and walk-outs and they will vote — some in the 2018 midterm elections and the rest as soon as they are old enough. You can bet they will show up at the polls in 2020. They mean business.
And best of all they are inspiring others. I see it even with my U.S. friends on social media. They are mobilizing and organizing, joining forces, becoming a force to be reckoned with, determined to take their country back. Every one has had enough, more than enough and this time is different. I really feel it; and I believe it.
It’s a great lesson for all of us, regardless of where we live. We are blessed here in Canada, especially as compared to what’s going on in the rest of the world, particularly south of the border.
But we’re not perfect either. And if we want change, sitting on our butts at home won’t bring it. Neither will whining about it to our friends and family members. And as critically important as it is to get out and vote, that’s not enough either. We have to roll up our sleeves and get involved. Give up some of our leisure time and spend it doing whatever we can to be part of the change. Otherwise it just won’t happen.
Maria Shriver inspired me again too. Are you sick of hearing me say how much I love her Sunday Paper? This week she talked about what she was giving up for Lent. I won’t repeat all of it, you can find it here. I will share this, though:
“Today, there is no doubt in my heart and mind that I am never going to vote for a human being who doesn’t oppose assault weapons. I’m never going to vote for an elected official who doesn’t speak out against domestic violence. I’m never going to vote for someone who doesn’t believe that climate change is real. I’m never going to vote for someone who won’t fund NIH research into crippling diseases. I’m never going to vote for a person who runs the White House with people who can’t get security clearances and who can’t admit when they’ve made a mistake. I’m never going to vote for someone who uses their voice to sow doubt in facts and confuse the American people. And, while I’m at it, yes, I’d fire Gen. Kelly if he were my chief of staff. But I’m not his boss, so I guess he’s safe.
Now before you wonder, “Who the hell does she think she is saying this stuff?” Let me answer that for you.
I’m smart and I’m strong. I’m tender and I’m tough. I’m compassionate and I’m caring. I’m confident and I’m clear. I’m someone who, in the past, allowed my better judgement to occasionally get taken over by self-doubt, only to realize that I was right all along …”
It’s up to us, folks. Power to the people.
The “rainbow” photograph used in this blog post was photographed by Sean MacEntee and sourced through Creative Commons
This has become my favorite of all your blogs…you know how I feel politically and emotionally…but this latest, amongst all the horrors that have happened…has torn my heart ! I am so proud of these teenagers who are much more informed due to social media and perhaps due to their parents! These kids are really fearful angry. I am watching their speeches….how mature they are! I applaud all those parents who encouraged the children to speak out and the many who signed their children out of school so,they could speak and march.
we did once before..in Vietnam era..and though it took years to resolve THAT crisis…it did come to an end…and thanks to the protests the young!
Yes, Maria is a remarkable woman…but look at her background…could we expect any less of her …those in heaven are proud of her ! ( and incidently, her brothers are remarkable with their work with “ special children and people”…)
We cannot stop protesting and getting “those”people out of power and influence!
Thanks for a wonderful blog! Xoxo,Barb
Sent from my iPad
Thanks so much Barbara. I so agree — the parents of these young people do deserve SO much of the credit — for allowing them to speak and for allowing them to miss school to march and protest — and mostly for instilling in them the confidence and courage to stand up for their rights; and a conscience so they also fight against what’s wrong. These kids are the future and I feel confident that they will take much better care of the planet and its inhabitants than “the ruling class” is now. Also agree with you about Maria Shriver. But she — and her brothers — are the perfect example of “upbringing” in action. Her family in heaven must surely be bursting with pride.
Fransi, you articulate so well the ground-swelling of thoughts and emotions that arise in me due to the state of our world today. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and I’ve started subscribing to Sunday Paper thanks to your recommendation. What a great resource.
Thanks so much Terry. For me it’s comforting to know that you and so many others feel the same way. It is important for us to share how we feel — addressing and correcting the issues we face will require collective thinking and action. I have no doubt you will enjoy Sunday Paper as much as I do. I look forward to reading it each week. It’s like she’s read my mind.
What a refreshing read! You always give a voice to what so many of us are thinking! I was driving to work that afternoon as the news broke out on LRN, one county away, my thoughts went to the parents who at that moment didn’t know if they would see their children alive again. Once the gruesome reality took over, it was the voices of the children that caught my attention. Out of the mouth of babes never held so much power, I thought. They are speaking up on behalf of themseleves, their futures, their dreams, all the precious things that can be stolen from them with a gun. They deserve to be heard as they make their case on behalf of all those who could not. Wonderful piece Fransi, I also share your praise and admiration for Maria’s amazing work whom I also follow.Thank you for spreading the light!
Thank you Daisy. Yes, “out of the mouths of babes.” Honestly, this is the most encouraging news since even before that awful man became president. The gun laws have been an issue for a long, long time. But I think these young people won’t stop their quest with gun control — that’s the beginning for them. We are all witnessing future leaders in the making.
I’m so inspired by these young adults! They’re going to going out into the world and do huge, amazing things. I am following a few of the kids on social media and I’m in awe of how composed and collected they are, even when faced with the trolls that question their motives. I’m grateful to be cheering them on.
We all have to cheer them on. They are the future and I am inspired and excited by them. They are “wow”.
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Thank you Chris
An excellent post! Thank you!
Thank you, glad you liked it.