Tuesday, October 3, 2017

spreading light in the darkness

I have had a hole in my heart thinking about what happened in Las Vegas.  So much sadness, so many questions unanswered, so many families left in sorrow and loss.


When something like this happens the helplessness is so very tangible.  I wish time could be reversed and something in the chain of events could be altered to stop the madness.  I wish there was something I could to to change even a little part of the gloom.  As I was thinking and wishing last night I had the distinct thought that no, I can't do anything for those people (aside from pray and send all my love).  But I can do something extra for someone here.  I can reach out a little extra in the names of those who were lost.  In the name of the man who lost them.  I can change the chain of events around me to bring more light and joy.  Who knows what seeds of kindness and light can change cycles of sadness and even terror.

So I stopped in my tracks and wrote some emails and texts to people I've been meaning to take some time to appreciate.  Tiny thing, right?  But sometimes the tiny things become the big things.

I love the quote from Edmund Burke that says, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

We can't fix what happened, but we can do something.  We can do lots of things, in fact.  We may feel that our offerings are meager.  But even by the small and simple things we bring light.  

So I challenged our family at breakfast to join me to reach out and serve someone today.  

Specifically to honor the people in Las Vegas.  The idea is that we will come together at dinner tonight and relate the things we did.  One tiny light can change a dark room.  Imagine what a lot of lights can do.  

Please join with us in this challenge if you feel so inclined.  And if you'd like to share, I (and I'm sure other blog readers) would love to hear those acts of spreading light in honor of Las Vegas.  Service ideas shared create a ripple effect for more service and love.

I remember the very day I read Margaret Mead's quote in my first ever "real" job.  I think it was on someone's "quote calendar" and for some reason it has stuck with me ever since:  "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Let's change the world with our light.

15 comments:

  1. We lived in Las Vegas for 12 years and so it will always be my other hometown. We have so many friends that are like family that live there. Fortunately all are safe and sound, but they and we are so affected by this, yesterday I couldn't even focus on anything. My husband and son gave blood yesterday. I'm calling, emailing or texting a bunch of Las Vegas friends today to let them know I'm thinking of them. We too are encouraging our kids to be lights and so be kind and serve someone this week. I love the quote by Martin Luther King, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that."

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    1. Love love love that quote. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. I live in Las Vegas (Henderson) and I have seen so many people doing so many different things! I have had friends donate blood, water, treats, money, anything that will help those who were affected. My kids' schools are doing drives to get more supplies to hospitals and anyone who needs it. I have people come to me and tell me that they feel so helpless and want to do something and so they have given to my family--my husband is a police officer. It is amazing all the light that comes from the darkness! People are amazing!

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  3. There is something more you can do: Consider that people who do these things are not sane and that before they commit these terrible acts, they have seen others do the same. They see the enormous attention gained and quite possibly confuse that attention with justification. If their desire is to go out in a blaze of glory, this is just the thing. They know exactly how it will play out. They are not sane, so they confuse infamy for fame, violence with power, curiosity with worship, media attention with validation. We have to stop rewarding mass murderers with notoriety. Our media has to stop glorifying them with heavy coverage and consumers have to see that their need to read every detail is part of what fuels acts of terror like this one. Don't read articles about the killer. Write to your local paper asking them to stop identifying mass murderers, parsing their motives, and outlining their strategies. We do have power in this situation. #dontsayhisname

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    1. Amen! You are exactly correct! Though it is difficult to control the media, so turn it off. Thank you for this comment.

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  4. I love your thoughts. I have been pondering how to make service more a part of "us" a part of our family culture and I love your ideas. realliferealjoy.com

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  5. I hadn't thought of it in that way. I think there is definite truth in that perspective.

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  6. Great idea! I just followed your advice and it feels a little better. I've shed a lot of tears over this, especially seeing all the goodness that came out of the darkness!

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  7. I love this. And I live in Las Vegas. And though our nickname is the "city of sin" I am so beyond impressed out how my community has come together in the wake of this tragedy. So much service. Lines around the block to give blood. Lines around the block to drop off food for victims as well as first responders. More food donated for hospital staff than they have room for. Over 3 million dollars donated to the victim fund. It's amazing.

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  8. I live in Vegas as well. I'm an Iowa native and have commented a lot on how different the people are here...but the past day and a half has proved me wrong. Whoever we are, wherever we are, people are good. I am so proud of my community today and I pray we will all continue to "mourn with those that mourn" and never allow our humanity to become desensitized. Thank you for your post. 💗

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  9. On Monday I printed out cards with the quote "Be the Good". For our family night we all wrote messages of love, appreciation and kindness on each card. I picked up some pies and a box of candy bars. We pasted cards on each one. We took the pies to the fire station and police station by our house...we thanked them for what they do everyday...and bonus, the kids got to see the fire truck. We took candy bars to a neighborhood firefighter and police officer we don't know. Then we drove around and handed out the remaining candy to unsuspecting people. Two women talking in a parking lot...one mentioned how she had had a bad day and how happy it made her. Two men pushing a stalled car got our help to push it...then some kindness candy. My kids did all the handing out. Most people were a bit apprehensive when we approached them...but then as they saw our message you could SEE the change in their eyes and the smile come across their faces. It was wonderful!!

    I'm also going to send some "bright boxes" to a few friends who could use it this week. Check it out on instagram...just $5 and they send some love for you!

    I am so thankful that despite how horribly awful this situation is...we could heal a little tiny bit of our hearts by giving love and appreciation to people we didn't know but already love...all in honor of the victims!!

    I hope you too are buoyed up with your efforts!!

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    1. Hi,
      This really touched me with all the kind things you & your family did. x

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  10. Good men gave blood, prayed, became first responders, health care professionals, military and sprang to action whether on duty or not, covered another with their own body, took someone injured to the hospital. Look to the helpers. One man (or a few people?) did something bad, but many more did something good. Bad stuff happens.

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  11. Love all these comments, THANK YOU! I love to hear about all the light that is being shared in so many ways, especially all the goodness that is happening in Las Vegas.

    We had a pretty great day of giving service in honor of Las Vegas. Our family needs to do that more often. It's so easy to get so fussed up about so many things swirling around in life that we forget to look up ,look out, and lend our hearts to others in more generous ways. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas and goodness.

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