I’m sure lots of you are reeling from this week. I know I am. It all just feels like a really terrible, really repetitive nightmare. How is this happening…again? Why has nothing changed?
I keep wondering this week – what can I do? How can I contribute, improve, provide a haven for my children and others around me? I feel like one of the most difficult things for me this week is fighting FEAR. Fear that my children will be hurt, fear that evil is lurking in the corners all around me – in my neighborhood, in our schools, in our community.
But we can’t live in fear. It’s so easy to believe that there is more evil than good in our world today, but that’s just not true. There is SO MUCH goodness in our world. Much as the forces of this last week may try to make us believe otherwise, I believe people are inherently good. Both at home and through the course of our travels, we’ve met so many people who are kind, who are generous, who show love.
When Dan was working for the FBI, he heard former Directory Comey once give a speech about how it is difficult to “hate up close.” When we get to know people, when we see their interests and their families and their hearts, it’s hard to hate and easy to love.
I realized one very small thing I can do is to share the goodness we see in the people that we meet. I want to share stories of kindness, stories of love, stories of peace. I hope these stories lift your hearts and fill you with hope as they have for me.
It only seems right to start with a story from my own family. Those of you who know me will likely have heard this story before, but I hope you’ll indulge me in re-sharing something dear to my heart.
When my mom was a little girl 7-year-old girl, she once went on a field trip to the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens in Bangalore, India. It was November 14th, the birthdate of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. Many different classes and schools had come to celebrate the occasion. With so many kids, my mom got separated from her class and missed the bus to return home.
As she sat crying, a man on a bicycle saw her and asked what was the matter. She explained that she’d gotten lost, and that her home was far on the other side of the sprawling city. He offered to take her back on his bicycle, but she had no idea how to get back. He asked if she knew of any landmarks near her home. At that, she perked up and said the large Ganesha temple was very close to her home, and that if he could take her there, she would know how to direct him to her house.