There is a phrase that you have likely heard at the beginning of any dramatic movie trailer: “in a world….” The phrase typically sets the stage for a world drastically different than reality. It could be a world filled with aliens from another planet or a world led by humans with extraordinary powers. The past few months feel like someone has said, “in a world…” and we are living in a high budget Hollywood movie with John Williams composing the soundtrack.
Islands devastated by hurricanes. Municipalities saturated by flooding. Cities crumbled by earthquakes. A President gone rogue. Communities deeply divided by hate. And now one of the most visited tourist sites shook by violence. Not sure how the filmmaker would finish the sentence of “in a world” given the diversity of destruction, but the stage is set for a blockbuster.
One day I will research the past century to see if there ever was a point in time that resembled one like we are in. Perhaps my self-absorbed tendencies drive me to believe these times are different from others and life is moving just as it has in decades and centuries and millennia prior. Or perhaps not.
Perhaps the frequency and intensity of catastrophic storms has increased and what we have experienced over the past two months is a prelude to what is to come.
Perhaps parts of Earth that have remained dormant for ages are awakening and preparing to engulf its habitats with violent shakes and explosive fire.
Perhaps the expectation of leading with integrity has finally faded with morals and a sense of compassion for the weak and lonely, replaced instead by histrionic, narcissistic displays parading proudly.
Perhaps love is fading and the lonely, disenfranchised have had enough so they choose to inflict pain on the weak to feel strong and seek revenge to appear powerful.
Perhaps this world existed when I was a child but I was too blind to see.
If this movie continues, what will final scenes look like? Who will take the lead roles? Who will be the last survivors? How will the set be designed? What will be the sound of the score?
There is a lot of work for us to do if we want a say in the final scenes, whether we are here for them or not. The actions we take today will directly impact weather events, political decisions and the actions of our fellow man.
YES! YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
While the Earth has a natural rhythm, we have the power to disrupt it. When we take more than we need we create an imbalance. When we dirty the air and the water and the land we chip away from the whole we were trusted with. Take only what you need; care for the rest.
Elections take place every year, sometimes more than once a year. Let your voice be heard – VOTE. Vote at local elections. Vote on bills and amendments. Vote to represent your community. Many elections have come down to the difference of a few votes. Your vote can be the difference, don’t let it go to waste.
Finally, love. Love without boundaries. Love because everyone deserves it. Love because you can’t stand to see another senseless act of violence. A compliment or a kind word might change the course of someone’s day. The gift of compassion might change the course of someone’s life. Love because you want to be loved. Love because love.
The only drama I want to see is on the big screen. The phrase “in a world” is completely appropriate for escapism at the theater, but I could do without it on the small screen.
In a previous piece, I shared how the violence over the years has shaped me and my children. It was a difficult piece for me to write because it addressed something that brings great pain to me – death and destruction of life. Seriously, my heart hurts. I might not cry, but my heart hurts.
I cannot change what is going on across the world, but I can impact those around me with my thoughts and my actions. As a citizen of the World, not just the United States of America, I am committed to the following:
Those around me will know what life is. I will speak life into others through encouragement and hope. I will live life full out and with passion. I will find the light in others and do my part to help it shine brightly. I will let them know that they matter and that they are valued.
I will not allow hatred to be around me. I will bravely speak out when I see injustice to a fellow human being, regardless of their religion, sexual preference, skin color, socio-economic standing or any other category we place people into. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King, Jr
Along the same vein of bravery is kindness. They are complimentary of one another because often we must be brave to show kindness to those whom kindness typically neglects. It is kindness however that encourages more kindness and in turn a renewed faith in humanity. I will show kindness even when I am tired or feel like I have no more to give. We must wear kindness like a classic fashion trend that never goes out of style. I commit to always being stylish. 😉
Oh boy, one thing I love most about our planet is how diverse it is. It is a beautiful thing that should be celebrated. However, there are many who seek to divide and separate us. I am committed to embracing the differences that surround me. From the man who speaks a different language, to the woman who dresses differently, I will welcome them and treat them with dignity and respect.
It is not uncommon to embrace differences but then lack understanding. Cities around the world have welcomed people who were different than the majority but instead of attempting to understand the culture and values of the other person, they reprimanded them for not assimilating quick enough. I commit to seeking to understand those who are different than I am. I want to know about where they came from and what they value. I want to know what makes us similar while appreciating what makes us different.
To give grace is to show compassion. There are absolutely people who commit crimes and atrocities against mankind with the full intent of decimating the victim. While I cannot say I am at a place where I can give those individuals grace, I can give those who ask for forgiveness grace. Grace says, “I love you and give you a clean slate.” I want to be the one who helps remove the stain by showing them the same grace my Father shows me.
There are enough people in the world who will judge, I commit to not being one of them. Judgement creates divides between people. It prevents us from learning from one another and builds resentment. I want to get to know a person for who they are, not how they look or what I have heard about them. I want to save judgement for food at a restaurant or clothes on a rack, not people passing by.
The world can be a downer if we focus on all that is wrong with it. Our children will be insensitive citizens if allow them to be. So we can’t. And we can’t allow ourselves to be that way either. We must take a stand against injustice and seek a way of living that is loving and inclusive. We must rise together or we will fall apart.
Please comment below with how you pledge to spread love and counteract those who want to inflict pain. Don’t forget to share this post on Facebook.