Like everyone else, I find it hard to move on after tragedy strikes. It took me a long time to write anything here after Newtown. Now the victims of the explosions at the Boston Marathon have been added to the list of people in my heart and thoughts. Aside from my sympathy for the families of those who were taken and for those who are now struggling to overcome injuries sustained or even fighting to survive, I feel scared and angry. Why is this happening again? Why does this happen so often? Is there anything we can do to stop it?
Again, I feel helpless. What can I really do to help on a broader scale? While I often get caught up feeling that I am not making a difference and by being a stay at home Mom, I’m not helping my community, my town, my state, my country; I realize now that that’s not entirely true.
It’s frightening to think that whoever is responsible for this heinous act of terrorism was one day a child. As I reminded my daughters to be nice to one another yesterday (a thousand times a day, it seems), it dawned on me; this is my contribution to the world. Instilling the right values in my kids who will then go on and do the same for their children and so on, this is my job. It is important. It will be effectual. No matter what I accomplish in future careers, this is the most important thing I will ever do.
My mom has always told me, “There are only three things you have to be in life… kind, kind, kind.” This is the number one value I have walked away with and that I will ensure my children live by, as well. It ‘s incredibly simple, but it really isn’t always easy. If they live by this law and practice this with their friends, maybe their friends will want to live by it too. Maybe these kids will spread this kindness around them and there will be less hate and fewer acts of hatred.
Writing in this space offers me the chance to figuratively stand on my soapbox and orate my innermost thoughts, wishes and hopes for myself, my family, and the world around us. This introspection has taught me so much and allowed me to shine a spotlight on every aspect of my life, thinking deeply in a way I have never taken the time to do before. I understand so much more of what my parents were trying to say to us, I’m glad I was secretly listening.