I’m devastated by what happened in Connecticut last week. Horrified. I’ve cried and hugged my kids tighter, and I’ve prayed. I’ve wondered why. I’ve engaged in precisely one conversation about gun control.
That was enough.
I understand that people are upset and they want a solution RIGHT NOW. They want someone to pass a law to make things better. They want better mental health treatment. They might even want to ban video games. It is horrific what we’ve all had to watch. And it’s more horrific that parents are waking up days before Christmas without their beautiful babies.
I don’t like guns either. I don’t like violent video games. I wish that I could make them ALL go away and live on a peaceful planet where we work in harmony to make the world a better place. I am very idealistic in this regard, I know, and I will leave figuring out the best course of action policy-wise to those who have done their research.
I am fully aware that the solution to this problem is beyond me. I can’t make it all go away. And that’s very disempowering.
Being disempowered does not make for a productive, happy self. And I know a lot of us are feeling rather disempowered, unhappy, fearful and depressed.
It’s easy to take aim at what we think the problem is and try to cut it out of our reality and make it go away. But we aren’t going to do that in this moment.
This moment is all we really have. We can’t change what happened in the past. We can’t wish it away. We can’t disarm the whole world and force people to love each other. We can’t even change the future; it doesn’t really exist.
All we truly have is this moment.
You have an opportunity right here, in this moment, to make the world a better place. You can say a kind word. You can do something for someone. You can say a prayer or send some love & light. You can simply close your eyes and tune into something within you that makes you smile.
You can’t change what happened in this moment. But you can do something in this moment that makes you/someone else feel better.
Empowerment comes when you can let go of the things over which you have no control and seize control of the things over which you have absolute control.
There are things, in this moment now, that you have absolute control. What will you do with that control?
- Will you spend this moment arguing with someone about what must happen next?
- Will you spend this moment reliving what happened by watching the news or reading an article?
- Will you spend this moment curled up in the fetal position rocking back and forth in fear?
Not to say that we shouldn’t grieve, as grieving is healing. Not to say that we shouldn’t consider a healthy course of action for our legislation going forward. Not to say we shouldn’t look at the psychological causality of such of an event.
But if we wish to be empowered towards a change, we must remain mindful as we do everything in consideration of the event. And we must take control of the things we have control over, which isn’t much in the face of such a tragedy. But in reality, it is all we have.
We can say a kind word. We can forgive. We can send love. We can pray. We can take a moment and do something kind for someone that makes their day. We can find something that makes us happy and bring more joy to our own lives.
In this moment, there is something you can do to make the world a better place. As we all do that, the positive in the world is magnified. As the positive in the world is magnified, so too is our ability to make real changes in the world as a whole.
“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” – Gandhi