Recently my family and I discovered an amazing song by the Black Eyed Peas called Be Nice. It’s seriously so catchy and was a song that came out of the new series Songland, on NBC. My family and I have it on repeat this summer, no joke. In the song, one of the lines in the chorus says “Be Different, Be Nice.” To some, maybe it’s just lyrics in a song, but to me, I feel THIS is how we take steps to heal the current state of affairs in the world.
After yet another mass shooting in America, we see massive amounts of people complaining about gun violence, mourning together in communities, and scared to go to public places in fear of getting killed. We are scared, and rightfully so. How do we stop this?
What about being different, and being nice?
It’s extremely hard for me to wrap my head around what someone has to be experiencing and feeling inside of themselves to get to a point where they feel that shooting people is the answer, to anything. However, I have to say that I have deep compassion for these individuals. While I do feel stricter laws and restrictions on what guns can be owned in the U.S. makes sense, I also feel like the root of the issue needs to be looked at as well.
Why are these people, members of our community, feeling like they need to do this? According to CNN.com, research says, “The US suicide rate is up 33% since 1999.”
How can we come together as a community before something like this happens?
I think in our minds we all want this sense of community, because naturally we are all connected, but then once something like this happens it suddenly becomes an Us vs Them mentality. They made the mistake. Someone else missed the signs. They were sick. They needed help and didn’t get it.
We are all connected. It is not Them vs Me vs You vs Whomever. This is US.
So how can we take steps to better this situation? How can we look at this current reality as an opportunity to change; an opportunity to try something different?
It Starts with Us
Growing up I had moments where I was bullied, teased, and felt terrible about myself. I had very low self-esteem, and I didn’t know how to properly manage my emotions. Now as a mother, I am being called to work through these wounds and heal them. I am navigating my way through how to handle my emotions in a healthier way, and how to also teach my children to do the same. Being angry isn’t wrong. It simply is. I will say that again: BEING ANGRY IS NOT WRONG. IT SIMPLY IS. How do we channel anger through our bodies in a healthy way, rather than an unhealthy way?
If we can shift our perspective from what’s wrong, to how can we help, then maybe ideas will come to us. I am already taking steps to help my children by introducing a “Calming Corner” from Generation Mindful. I am consciously parenting, and while that doesn’t mean I don’t mess up myself, I am trying. I am trying to meet my children where they are at and not try to fix them. I am trying to meet their needs rather than mold them into who I want them to be.
What can we do NOW?
Can we be more kind to each other on a daily basis? Can we compliment someone standing in line at the grocery store? Can we hold the door open for someone? Can we say hi to someone walking down the street rather than stare at our phones? Can we hug a stranger when they do something nice for us? Can we find the light in others, no matter how hard it may be to see, and say something uplifting to them? Can we sit with our children, or any child, as they navigate through an emotional storm and help them feel safe, and not wrong?
I know the answer to how to solve the violence we are experiencing in the world isn’t a simple cut and dry answer, but I do know that LOVE is the best approach to anything. When we approach things with fear, we simply get more fear. If we approach things with love, we get more love. So rather than think this is someone else’s problem, what if it was our problem? What if this is our call to shift our perspective and unconditionally love one another? What if this is an opportunity to choose another way to be? What if this is the Universe saying, “We need to be more loving to everyone, even those who have messed up?”
We are in this together, and until we realize that, I don’t believe anything will change. Not even with a change in the law. We need to approach this from a better, higher perspective. One that realizes that fighting anything will only get you more of it. Spreading love and kindness gets us a whole lot further.