My god, things are so hard. I watched the news for maybe half an hour, then just turned it off and quietly lit a candle.
I am struggling to process how much pain people are experiencing. How brutally humans destroy one another. And then we tear each other apart in our grief, misplacing our sorrow onto ordinary people who are also just trying to make sense of the senseless.
Life is ruined for so many this morning. They are waking up to rubble or hunger or missing children or their beloved person who was just going bowling last night. It is too much. We aren’t meant for this. We aren’t meant to experience so much destruction.
I don’t know what to do. I know you don’t either. We can’t fix any of it. We exercise the small doses of power we have, but we are just normal people.
I think of Maggie Smith’s poem: “You could make this place beautiful.” I believe this is almost all we can do. In a world filled with hate and violence and abuse and loneliness, all we can do is help make our tiny corner of it more beautiful. All our tiny corners add up.
- Choose a gentle answer when a harsh one was warranted.
- Give someone the benefit of the doubt. Assign positive intent.
- Send the sweetest, kindest text.
- Leave a little package on someone’s porch.
- Make bread and bring a few hot slices to your neighbor.
- Choose to believe that almost everyone is trying their best.
- Tell someone on “the opposite side” that you may disagree, but nothing could make you stop loving them.
- Write your favorite artist or author or performer and tell them what their work has meant to you.
- Surprise your kids with Ice Cream Dinner.
- Hug someone for 20 seconds. Pick up me and my friends’ habit of kissing each other on the cheek when we say hello and goodbye.
- Say I’m sorry. Say I forgive you.
What else can we do but try to make this place beautiful? We have to believe it isn’t just “over there” or “about them” or “someone else’s kids”…but right here.
I’ll start: Two young people that I cherish are having their first baby this very minute. Can you imagine anything more pure and precious than that?