I appreciate those of you who give loving support to transgender youth and adults.
I appreciate those of you who acknowledge that love is love, regardless of sexual orientation.
I appreciate those of you who seek out friends from different religious and cultural traditions.
I appreciate those of you who treasure opportunities to get to know people who are different from you.
I appreciate those of you who expose "normal" for the fallacy that it is, and who embrace diversity as a beautiful gift.
I appreciate those of you who advocate for safe communities and freedom from fear.
I appreciate those of you who empower young girls, and who teach young boys that vulnerability is not weakness.
I appreciate those of you who Give.
Here's the truth: there is a multi-billion dollar industry mostly invested in delivering bad news. Then social media jumps in and amplifies bad news to the point of deafening. If it is possible for people to have differing opinions, then those differences are exploited to the point of dehumanization (seriously... I saw a Facebook argument go down yesterday where the characterization of one person as "a piece of shit" was met with a retort of them being "less than human.") And then add in the reality that Americans are glued to their phones and devices 24-7, it's no wonder we think that everything is going to hell in a hand-basket.
There are wolves in the world. Real, scary, better-to-taste-you-with evildoers on missions to destroy. We have to be vigilant against wolves. But the way to prevent being hurt is not to inflict more hurt on each other. Breaking each other down and tearing each other apart doesn't make anything better. In fact, tearing each other apart makes it kinda sound like we are wolves ourselves.
The way to keep wolves at bay is with light. We are all capable of lighting a fire for good with our everyday acts. I recently challenged myself to spend a day looking for good. Perhaps "challenge" is the wrong word, because finding examples of good wasn't remotely difficult. A car driving by was full of happy birthday balloons. I watched a video online of an elephant picking up and throwing away trash. A new mom got flowers at work from her hubby. Local folks registered to attend the World Refugee Day potluck. A sandwich board outside of a restaurant featured an inspirational quote. I saw Christian friends wishing Muslim friends well during Ramadan. Parents all around town went to great lengths to congratulate recent graduates. Friends signed up to run a 5K to benefit local charities. Strangers found a lost pet and returned it home. Those are but a few examples.
Every day we do good things.
Every day we brighten each others' lives.
Every day we bring forth hope.
Every single day.
I know that our hearts are heavy. But in the face of sadness and fear, don't lose sight of the every day. It's the every day that will give us tomorrow. If we keep showing up, so will the sun.