"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother
would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who
are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember
my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are
still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” – Mr. Rogers
When something unspeakable happens close to home most of us have the same reaction – a natural and appropriate one: we are sickened. We are angry. We feel small and vulnerable and afraid. We grieve and we worry and we wonder what will become of this species that we call our own.
And then for some of us (myself included) a second thing happens.
The unspeakable things that happen elsewhere in the world all come rushing in at once and I am dizzy with worry for us all.
I know that some cultures have lived with for years or for decades or forever with daily violence – some at the hands of their neighbors, some at the hands of their governments, some at the hands of my government.
And I grieve again.
And so today I pray for Boston. And at the same time I pray for all of us – everywhere – who suffer violence or live in fear for the safety of ourselves and our children.
My prayer is for peace.
A wish that my children – and children everywhere – can grow up in a world that is evolving towards peace.
Because humans have hurt and killed one another since the beginning of time. War and violence is part of our collective heritage.
But that truth is tiny compared with the immeasurable kindness we share with one another.
We take care of each other and protect each other and love each other every day. It's what we were designed to do. I can not speak for you, but my daily live is rich with amazing people and utterly devoid of the opposite.
Because people are good. And kind. And helpful. And if you allow one person or one group of people to skew your view of humanity, please let it be the kind ones.
Our hearts are so big. Never forget this and get lost in the suffering.
And then, perhaps, it's time to all do our part. Because one child at a time we have the power to change the world.
Let us nurture a culture of peace.
Let us be kind to others. At the crosswalk, at the grocery, on the freeway. Let us model peace in how we engage with the world.
Let us raise our children to be heard when they whisper – not just when they shout. Let us teach them that they matter and kindness matters and peace matters.
Let us teach them how to breathe into anger and how to navigate fear. Let us teach them how to be whole and safe and heard. Let us teach them to use their words, and model the same ourselves.
Let us change the world by changing how we live.
If you are inspired, you can find my More Peaceful Parenting Series is here:
Today, speak gently.
Today, find patience.
Today, begin your own evolution.
Be kind to a stranger. Buy a homeless person a meal. Help someone. Make time. Respect your children's needs.
And then watch the world begin to transform on these tiny ripples of peace.
Love and light to us all.
P.S. Below are a few links that might be helpful for any of you who's children have heard about what happened in Boston last night, or what has happened anywhere that brings fear and confusion.