Present Tense

Here’s what we can do….

Another mass tragedy on our soil.  Another 24 hour news cycle full of pain, anger, talk of revenge.

As I watched the coverage of the terrorist attack in Boston, all I could think was ‘here we go again’.  I’m sure you felt the same wave of shock, anger, frustration, grief, and pain that I did.  We feel helpless.

We feel a surge of collective energy to ‘do something’.  Sadly, it appears that the pattern in our country is to turn that ‘something’ over to our leaders in government and law enforcement, while we sit back and fret and hope for revenge or justice. Valid reactions.

But, let me tell you a story about my friend Kandis.  She is a gay, single mom of a nearly 6 year-old daughter.  She has had a rough few years, personally, but is very active in her church and is one of the most generous people on the planet.  Due to her sexual orientation, Kandis has endured the kind of discrimination and yes, hate, that most of us can’t even imagine.

Yesterday, as the events of the day washed over us and most of us were sitting on the couch glued to the TV coverage, trying to make sense of another deadly act of terrorism, Kandis did what she always does.  She went to one of her volunteer events and fed the hungry.

When I realized what she was doing as opposed to what I was doing, all I could say was “YES”.  This is it.  Kandis gets it.  Kandis is my hero.

We all have this huge amount of energy circulating.  Most of it is negative energy. We wring our hands; what can we do?  What can the government do?  How do we stop this?  How do we combat this?

Kandis shows us.  We may not be at the point of being able to love or show compassion to our enemies, but what most of us can do at the very least, is muster some love, compassion and generosity for people less fortunate.  People in worse circumstances than we are.  Or show some kindness to people who merely irritate us or cause us some minor inconvenience.

That’s where this energy can be channeled.  If we’re honest, we realize that there is nothing we can do for the victims in Boston.  We can post encouraging posts on Facebook or make donations from the comfort of our living rooms, but does that really do anything to help our fellow man?

The way to perpetuate more anger and hatred and violence is to hold that in your heart.  The way to combat it is to throw a little more love, compassion and understanding into the world.  Small acts, one step at a time.  We hold the key.  It’s up to you what you do with that energy.

April 16, 2013 - Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , ,


  1. I’m proud to say that Kandis is a friend of mine…………….thank you for recognizing h.

    Comment by lisasjourney2009 | April 16, 2013 | Reply

    • Look who’s talking Ms Three Day Walk! You are amazing all on your own:)

      Comment by kandisnz | April 16, 2013 | Reply

  2. I am honored by your words. One thing that Jesus taught, I think we might all agree with, is that if you have done it to the least of these you have done it unto me. I don’t think that Jesus was speaking of having done it unto HIM specifically, but that you have done it unto all of humanity. So when you clothe, feed and give to others, because of our oneness, you have done it unto the whole world. You may agree or not, but it sure makes a difference to that one person and we can heal the world one person at a time. Namaste, my friend and I love you dearly.

    Comment by kandisnz | April 16, 2013 | Reply

    • All of the major religions and spiritual teachings in the world are based on some form of love thy neighbor, be kind to all, show compassion, even to your enemies. There is a reason for that and sadly, we ignore it at our peril. Except for you:) Love you back.

      Comment by janelondon | April 16, 2013 | Reply

      • It is the thread that runs through all religions! I quote Jesus because it’s what I know. The Bahai’i faith is rich in belief in unity, so no one has a claim on goodness;)

        Comment by kandisnz | April 16, 2013

  3. Just wanted to say, I’m all in. The woman walks the beach throwing starfish after starfish back into the water that have washed into that beach. A passerby asks “why are you doing that?, there are so many that you can’t possibly make a difference”. The woman picks up one and says, ‘it makes a difference to this one” and throws it back into the water.

    Comment by Tim | April 16, 2013 | Reply

  4. Thank you Jane for thoughtful and wise words. We can be angry and hateful or we can try to make a difference and a change with kindness and love to one another – not just those close to us, but those we don’t know. thanks for reminding us that the anger, bitterness and hate that so easily builds from these attacks, can and should be met with a redirection of energy to do good in this world.

    Comment by Mary | April 16, 2013 | Reply

  5. All ripples start with one drop. Every small kindness matters to the the one on the receiving end, but I believe the giver gets a lot more out of it than they ever thought! So we’re not changing the world one person at a time, it’s two people at a time! Do something kind for someone every day and see how different the world looks to you!

    Comment by Joyce Johnson | April 17, 2013 | Reply

    • Joyce,
      That is an excellent point. Thanks.

      Comment by janelondon | April 17, 2013 | Reply

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