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