Sunday, June 12, 2016

Helpless

It was just two days ago that I wrote a post regarding how reading the news was making my heart hurt. The post was on censorship and you can read it here, but now, there is so much more. 

Yesterday I woke up to see that a young singer had been shot by a man who purposefully had traveled to her concert venue to kill her. 

Today I woke to see that another young man had taken an assault gun into a gay nightclub in Orlando and killed 50 people, wounding 53 more. 

Lauren DeStefano shared the following quote on Twitter from Marie Lu's book Champion...

I look desperately around us, my vision blurred with tears, and everything is a smear of blood and smoke, light and ash, and all I can hear is screaming and gunfire and hatred, and I am so tired of the fighting, so frustrated, angry, helpless.

Tell me there is still good in the world. Tell me there is still hope for all of us. 

My friend and teacher, Jess, wrote a beautiful post on why we should all love more loudly. How her first reaction was to hide, to live in fear, but how she won't do that. I think it should be required reading. (Jess's post)

I'll be honest, my first reaction today was in line with the quote from Champion. Where the hell is this good in the world? I'm sick and I'm tired.

I'm tired of living in a world that can do nothing to curb gun violence. Assault weapons are a joke and should not be available to purchase.

I'm tired of the hatred towards people who've done nothing wrong. My heart hurts for those in the LGBT community today and I wish I could do more.

And, while I'm at it, I'm sick of the absolute sexism in this political campaign. While I could go on and on, this write up on Facebook sums my frustrations up well. (HERE)

Sometimes I wonder if we can ever come together as a country. If there is a way to have dialogue, instead of all of the constant yelling. I'm not alone in this frustration. John Green, who I love, did a video on this topic several years back (HERE). However, Kate Messner has given me reason to hope. Yesterday she posted some more about the censorship issue she's facing with her book, The Seventh Wish (HERE). She heard back from a librarian who hadn't shelved her book due to the drug addiction storyline and they are starting a conversation. Nothing will change overnight, but conversations, seeing each other as people, working to understand others, being empathetic. I think that's where some answers lie.

So while I still feel helpless, and I'm still so sad about the violence in Orlando, I'm going to continue to reach out. I'm going to buy copies of The Seventh Wish and George, among other books, and hand them out at my presentations this summer. I'm going to continue to share my beliefs on social media, not that I think anyone necessarily cares, but if it makes anyone else feel less alone, I think that's a win. And finally, I'm going to remember Peter Reynolds' quote after the bombing at the Boston Marathon and know in my heart that he is right. 
And I'm going to watch the Tony Awards because, well, Hamilton. Just Hamilton. It will make everything seem just a bit brighter. 
 
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