On the evening of July 7th, I sat down to finish writing my Loving On Me blog post about my Independence Day experience. I had words of gratitude to share about how grateful I was to live in a country and in a community where we are free – free to celebrate with our families, free to celebrate with whomever we want, wherever we want. That peace and simple joy gave me a new sense of hope in light of all the tragedies our world had experienced over the past year – Paris, San Bernardino, Orlando, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and sadly too many others. But those moments came to a sudden heart-pounding stop as breaking news hit about Dallas Police officers being ambushed just miles away from my home. My heart sank. My mind rushed. My city, my hometown, our police officers were under siege.
Suddenly, the topic I was writing about was the very thing someone was disgracing – our freedom. The thoughts and words simply wouldn’t come and my writing ceased. Since then, Baton Rouge and Nice have happened and so have the funerals and memorial services. Hearts are heavy. Minds are numb.
This past month has driven my prayers to daily ask God to show me wisdom and humility and to help me have compassion to do something that will make a positive difference in someone’s life. Stories and videos have come across my path that have been, in some ways, answers to my prayers – examples of inspiration, hope, courage and action that I want to share with you.
These are just some of the examples I’ve seen of people turning their empathy into action – action that must not stop so that we can continue contributing to the conversations and solutions we must find, together. As our kids head back to school this month and our country continues to consider who its next President will be, may we learn from and allow these latest tragedies to reshape our thinking a little more deeply, compassionately and wisely. As we move through our days, our political process, the way we raise and teach our kids, lead our companies and communities, may we, in the brilliantly succinct words of First Lady Michelle Obama “go high when they go low.” May these stories inspire you to come up with creative commitments for change in your community.
- Long-time Dallas Morning News health and fitness writer, Leslie Barker, beautifully expressed what so many of us were feeling and are still feeling in her column “Clinging to the Kindness While Wishing Today’s Terror Away”
- Cremaine Booker, known as That Cello Guy, couldn’t find the words, so he channeled his emotions into music and blessed this world with the most beautiful expression of pain and emotion. Check out his amazing contribution here.
- Akola is an amazing non-profit that empowers women across the globe – both in Dallas and Africa – to be agents of change in their families and communities through economic development. It has blossomed into a thriving social-business and employs local Dallas-area women who live below the poverty line, who have been the victims of sex trafficking, or have been formerly incarcerated. In response to the Dallas shootings, Akola launched its campaign #OneHopeOneDallas last week.
- Harrisburg Police Chief Tom Carter is working with a local non-profit working to help men coming out of prison and back into to society to stay in society successfully with the support of a local men’s suit shop.
- Nancy Belmont launched Unity in Alexandra, VA and demonstrates how every human being has at least one thing in common with every other human being.
Leave a comment below and share with us ways you’re loving on your community!