Check In With Yourself

maria12.7 Maria Shriver's Sunday Paper
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."
Helen Keller

I've Been Thinking...

I must confess, this week I found myself thinking again and again, "What the heck is going on in our country?"

What is going on in our schools? In our families? In our Supreme Court? In our media? In our cities? In our stores? Here we are in the thick of the holiday season, a time when we're supposed to feel joy and gratitude, and yet it's hard to focus on feeling those positive vibes when everything around us seems completely upside down.

It’s maddening to think that we now live in a country where kids go to school and learn active shooter drills alongside lessons in math and science. It’s hard—impossible, actually—to understand how a 15-year-old could walk into school and start shooting his fellow students. It’s hard to understand why he would show off the gun on social media. It’s appalling that his parents bought him the gun. It's hard to comprehend that when one of his teacher's found him searching online for ammunition, the boy's mother texted him: “LOL I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.” The boy's parents have now been charged with involuntary manslaughter and one can only hope that other parents will now make more of an effort to ensure firearms are securely locked away.

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We Are Here To Be The Difference

iStock-520938766 We Are Here To Be The Difference
“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

I've Been Thinking...

Wow, what a week. The death of George Floyd has thrown this country into a tailspin. Protests, looting, curfews—a nation erupting before our very eyes on live television.

As I watched, my heart sank. My mind went back and forth between what was happening last night and the video, still raw, of George Floyd pinned to the street with a knee to his neck, pleading for his life with the words, “I can’t breathe.” My heart sank as I learned from news reports that he called out for his mother in his final moments.

And then, the protests. I felt the outrage and the anger pour out of Americans everywhere who are rightly furious that this kind of injustice seems to know no end. This story is yet another startling reminder that we all really aren’t in the same boat. We don’t all walk down the street or through the park and get the same reactions from one another, not to mention from law enforcement.

So here we are. Headed not just into summer, but in so many ways, into the great unknown. Most stay-at-home orders have been lifted or eased. Businesses are trying to reopen, but many of the ones that did ended up being looted this weekend.  Social distancing and mask rules are in effect, but let’s face it, they will be challenging to enforce. Just look at the pictures from this past Memorial Day weekend. In fact, it seems that in just a few short days, the pandemic has become secondary news.

How both of these stories play out moving forward will come down to all of us. Without clear federal guidelines, we are all left to our own devices. My health and safety will be dependent on your actions, and yours will be dependent on mine. In this country where independence and freedom are prized values, it will be interesting to see if there is, in fact, a common good and a higher purpose that we can all coalesce around.

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