As I play with my grandchildren or I build cities on my FB games, or shut myself in my house, and I talk to my FB friends I can let myself believe that all around me is safe and secure. However the minute I turn on the TV, and I watch the news, or I open the door and allow the real world to enter, it brings with it, its monsters, growling with swiping claws and snapping mouths full of razor sharp teeth along with it. Lately I find my virtual cities and neighborhoods so much more appealing.
I’ve opted to live a side life in a virtual world, my cities and neighborhoods are filled with caring people I find delightful to visit with, and everyone pitches in with something you need done. Wow what a great group of friends. I don’t have to worry about the snarling monster that is literally spreading darkness over the real world today. I can shut it out, and ignore it.
However, ignoring what is really going on around us is how we got to this dark place to begin with. Living lives on the internet has allowed us to turn our backs on what is going on in our own neighborhoods. We close and lock our doors, turn on the computer, and surrender ourselves to FB and the like. Presidents and government members have taken to using Twitter to get by a media that has forgotten the “fair and non-biased” clause in their contracts, and instead choose sensationalism to sell their souls in exchange for ratings. I miss the days of boring news, and coverage of the county fair’s apple pie contest. This side is doing that, that side is doing this. Pick up arms and stand your ground, the revolution / civil war is beginning in our streets!
The other day, I was sitting with my grand-daughter, and we were playing with a leggo set, building a little shop, and setting up a birthday celebration for one of the leggo girls, complete with presents. It was simply sweet and wonderful, and she was having so much fun. It was a special memory for us. Later as I sat and watched the news, I couldn’t help but wonder about that special moment with her. This is what life was to her. Sweet moments, special memories with those she cared about, and imaginary worlds which were all about princesses, love, pretty flowers, and sparkling tiaras. When will the real world invade her pretty little perfect world? Answer? Too soon. The world we are creating with our ignorance, hate, and our refusal to notice those that are hurting, that need love, and those that need a helping hand, is waiting at her door for the moment she steps into it. Oh how I would love to protect her from it!
We spend more time crossing the road, and pulling our arms tightly about us in public, forming our own little safe space. We afraid of people whom we do not know, or those whom are different than we are. We want to protect ourselves from what those in authority are telling us is bad or evil. Those that push their hate and bias onto those they know they can influence. Parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, leaders, grandparents, and friends; stop the ignorance, and teach those around you to use their talents, their hearts, and their intelligence to carve a new path. Is hurting each other or even killing each other the only answer?
“God helps those that help themselves.”; “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”; “Don’t judge lest you be judged”; “Why do you look at the speck that is in your own eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Matt 7:3”; “live free or die.”; “Thou shalt not kill.”; Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s house, wife, . . .or anything that belongs to him. (exodus 20: 17 (paraphrased)); “Give a man a fish, and they eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and they eat for a life time.” “32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. From time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.” Acts 4:32-34.
These are just a few of the things that have been used to excuse behavior over the last few years, and brought upon us fighting and rioting on our streets; rioting that has helped to divide our country, and start to fray the very fabric of what this country means. This country is about freedom; Freedom to live, and worship as you choose; freedom to love as you are led; freedom to believe in whom and what you want to; freedom to love God, and ALL of his children, and not allow such a thing as a crayon color or a difference in opinion tear us apart.
What happened to that original idea? When did it all start to fall apart? When did hate and division become the foremost important thing on our streets? In our schools? Our public buildings? When did God become a dirty word? The Christmas season become a holiday of division instead of one of celebration. (no matter What your background)? Why are we fighting over which one is true and real? Why do we try to force our own celebration on others and allow the government to extinguish one religion and allow the others to thrive? How do I tell my beautiful grandchildren that the world they are growing up in will be filled with strife and discourse instead of love and unification? Nobody has all the answers, but together we may find some.
Why close the door on our virtual worlds where everyone works together, and shows compassion for each other to become a participant in the real world where wars rage on in our streets? Do we really want to? Why can’t we just put our headphones on, take our laptops, and escape into our virtual cities and neighborhoods? Be friends with our neighbors, and create them the way we want our real world to be? Don’t get me wrong, the friends I have on line are as wonderful and as real to me as those in the real world. I love them all, and I enjoy the times I have with them, but is shutting out the real world how I want to teach my sweet grandchildren how to find happiness?
I tell myself I need to make a difference in their world. I need to teach them that there is an alternative to hate and division. It’s called love and togetherness. The biggest mountains are moved, and the deepest waters are tread when we work together as one, and in my case, God is in the Driver’s seat. We are people, not you are people. Churches lift up their neighbors in a community. Generous people help those in need. Somewhere over the years we’ve lost that concept we need to breathe new life into it, an return to it. If we all pull together we can create a safe, loving, beautiful world for our children once again, and they don’t have to worry about walking on the front lines.
The Holiday season is coming up. The community you live in will have a variety of giving programs. Most communities do. It could be a “Toys for tots” drop off or gathering spot. A place to give blankets and clothing for those in needs e.g. mittens, hats, and lap robes for the local Nursing home, or a local shelter or food shelf may need supplies for holiday dinners. Your local church may be gathering holiday food for a fellow member or community members. Maybe you know someone in your neighborhood that needs help, and you want to reach out, but don’t know how. Let me suggest a food/clothes etc . . . drive in your neighborhood. Get your whole family involved. So many steps, so many people afraid to take those steps.
Start your journey by Making attractive, postcard invitations, and distribute them among your neighbors. Make your house the drop off point then deliver it to the one in need, you can even figure a way to do it anonymously . Partnership with your local church or shelter, and involve your neighborhood in that. So many ways . . .
The only question left to ask is? Are you the one person who starts to make a difference? You may be surprised how many will follow this holiday season if given the chance to share some love over the hate that’s out there now. Make a movement of light and love that darkness can’t penetrate.
My Love to all!
Darkness: An absence of light.
Concerts. Love them, they are a great place for one to have fun, dance, meet and greet others with the same passion, and even dig in the closet for the perfect combination of clothing that expresses your devotion to an artist or the genre of the music. Make-up, accessories, shoes, and the hat. A final look in the mirror reveals you are ready to meet other fans, and possibly get a glimpse of your favorite artist, maybe even a short video, or a snap shot with your iphone. What a thrilling and exciting evening it is going to be. You say goodbye to your kids, parents etc . . . your friends knock on the door and off you go to an evening you will never forget.
That is the way last Sunday night started for 22,000 fellow Americans as they excitedly dressed for a night out with friends, family, spouse, lover, etc. . . but what started out as quite possibly a special memory turned into a horrifying nightmare. One minute they were dancing, line dancing with a friend amongst others in a surrounding crowd just having a ball. Some were having a drink, filming their favorite singer. Taking selfies or pictures of loved ones and friends until they saw them drop to the ground or others around them, and then chaos. Friends realizing a dream that was wiped out, saw their loved ones shot down, or were left lying on the ground, with nowhere to go, wondering, “Am I next?”
What is happening to the thread of our country? How could one man have darkness in his soul so thick that he would just callously think “Hey, a concert? I wonder how many people I can take out.” Authorities have found the means, the opportunity, but are frantically searching for a motive. People want to know why? How could one man hate humanity so much that he would commit the worse mass murder in history? Authorities have gone through the top possible reasons. Racism, gambling, Isis, depression, government conspiracy (really?) . . . He was rich, owned multiple homes, (no gambling debts) He was deeply in love with his girlfriend, and they were happy, no depression meds found in his houses or on his person so that has been ruled out. They have ruled out Isis, even though they tried to claim responsibility for it because they found no links to them in his personal belongings, phone calls, date books, or history of traveling. There is no connection to any of the normal things they usually link an attack of this magnitude too. They’ve even spoken to his girlfriend, and she has shed no light on their investigation, though she did decide to lawyer up because of the money he shipped overseas for her. As of today, news says: He had an accomplice, he visited other hotels for dry runs, and he even tried to blow up gas tanks. Me thinks they are trying to prove an Isis or some other International link. I hope they have the proof, and don’t just pin it there, because they have nowhere else to pin it.
Until they find the real motive, minds are left to wander. No matter what the report says about motive, one thing the evidence does prove, Stephen Paddock had darkness in his heart that had been left to fester, and eventually take over his soul, to me there is no other explanation. A person who could stand on the scope end of a rifle, and look through at a massive amount of innocent people, cutting them down, young, old, prime of their life, with no remorse has to have a darkness so thick that light can no longer penetrate it. A Coldness so deep, warmth has been long forgotten. This kind of darkness can consume a person and create a hate so passionate that there may be no rhyme or reason for their actions, that soul has just chosen to become pure evil.
Stephen Paddock did not want to keep the darkness within himself, he wanted to spread the pain anguish and hopelessness that it demanded so he took 58 souls, injured 527+ , and traumatized 21, 414 others, and then he took his own life, yet in the midst of all the chaos and fear, heroes arose, and gave what he tried to take away. Ordinary people not only helping those that he had cut down, but restoring faith and hope in humanity, and showing those of us watching stunned and shocked that not everyone has given up on love and caring for their fellow man; a love that was born from a heart full of light and warmth. This is the kind of love that counteracts the darkness in this world; a darkness that took control of Stephen Paddock.
That darkness is spreading so fast. The proof is all around us. Lone wolf attacks. Violent acts and people dying during what is supposed to be peaceful protests. How can we help? So many of the people in Las Vegas showed us how. We can follow their example. Now I’m not saying run into dangerous situations to play hero, but there are so many small things we can do. Help a friend with something they need to do. Help an elderly citizen with something they need; even offering a ride to a doctor’s appointment or to get groceries or meds etc . . . . Volunteer at a local homeless shelter or somewhere you could help your local Veterans. Start your own fundraiser to help someone in need or a cause to better the lives of many who need it. Another way? Simply do random acts of kindness, show people that love, light, and warmth still exist.
At a time when the darkness is taking over the weakest in our country, and they are feeding on our innocents, those of us that still believe light and love can beat it back need to stand up for those it chooses to attack. A soul of light and love will always outshine a soul of Darkness, and love will always prevail if we don’t remain dormant.