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Sunday, January 9, 2011

let's give away some peace

yesterday, a 22-year-old man shot 19 people in a safeway supermarket during my congresswoman's 'congress on the corner' event. six people were killed, including a federal judge, an aide, and a 9-year-old girl who was excited about politics and just wanted to meet congresswoman gabrielle giffords.

at the end of the day i wrote the following:

i feel so drained from today. just so drained. i would be devastated by a shooting like this occurring anywhere in this country, but having it happen in my state, in my city, to my congresswoman (for whom i'd voted)? at a grocery i've shopped at once or twice? is like having the air sucked out of me.

a nine-year-old child is dead. instead of 'holding my own child a little tighter tonight' like everyone suggests i do to help me feel better, what if i - what if we all - pretended our own child had, G-d forbid, been shot and killed? what if we pretended this shooting had happened at our own neighborhood market? what if we could all hear the sirens, have our houses shake with the airlift helicopters passing over?

would we still be able to continue on with our days, not voting in elections because we 'lack the time' or interest to educate ourselves about the candidates or the issues? would we stand by and let things fall down around us? if we all pretended this had happened in our own home, to our own people?

because frankly, the united states is not as vast as we think it is. regardless of which state in which we reside, today's shooting DID happen in our own home, to our own people. this country has a wound over it, and we press tired bandages to the wound so we can pretend it is not there, rather than letting it show to the air - letting it heal.

it's time to pay attention - to our words and actions and how they add up to bring about our reality. it's time to respect ourselves enough to respect others, and the earth. it's time to slow down and evaluate what is truly important.

i wanted to write something different, something with direction; i have not seen a lot of people mention today's shooting other than my tucson friends, despite there being quite a number of posts about football, food, dolls, movies, and other things. i know this made the national news. i am scared to think that people did not hear about it, did not care, that it did not register enough to cause pause for a moment.

because i am shaken to the core. i do not want to pretend this kind of tragedy cannot touch me, i want to figure out how i can create even the smallest changes that start to put things right again.

today i am continuing to send healing thoughts to those recovering, to those who were witnesses, and to those who have lost friends or family to this violence. i hope you will join me in an effort to think about how words and actions impact the people around us and the earth, both now and for future generations.

and along those lines -

i am offering $50 store credit to one lucky person. this may be redeemed for or applied to any in-stock item(s). i will offer free US shipping along with this. (international customers may use part of the $50 to cover the postage.)

in order to enter the giveaway, please be a fan of my facebook page. *AND* in order to enter, you must tell me one thing you personally will do to put peace in the world. it doesn't have to be anything monumental, or require any huge change on your part - sometimes the smallest things add up to the greatest results.

here are some examples: i will pay attention to the language i use and challenge any hateful language i hear spoken. i will challenge my preconceived notions about other cultures. i will take my children to a peaceful protest. i will take my children on a neighborhood walk and we will pick up garbage from the street. i will start recycling one type of locally recyclable item i previously threw into the garbage. i will take tupperware containers with me to restaurants where i expect i may need to take food home, to minimize use of styrofoam. i will take my children to a cultural event.

i am looking forward to hearing your responses! one entry per person, and it must contain at least one tangible commitment to bringing about peace. thank you so much. the winner will be selected by random number generator on wednesday, january 19 at 11.59 PST.


  1. There has been a lot of turmoil and pain in my family in the past few years. Last year I took a step to restore some peace by reaching out to a sister and asking for forgiveness. My goal this year is to continue to seek peace in my own family through building those family relationships. Through time together, letters and phone calls to those who live out of state, and responding with an open heart when others reach out to me, instead of questioning their motives.

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  3. I hope this is OK...
    I will give away one quilt made for a blind person - with textures instead of colors. I have posted about it on my blog: I also posted about your give-away, and I took your idea: In order to win on my blog, people also have to leave a comment telling me what they want to do to increase the peace :-)

    I hope that's OK with you :-)


  4. I will raise my kids to solve problems with kind words.

  5. I will take my children to the library but instead of getting our typical videos and books, I will seek out stories of by people of different cultures. We will also read a few books about Martin Luther King Junior to prepare for MLK day.

  6. I will be sure to always remember and teach my children to always remember that:
    -peace is not the absence of conflict, but rather it is the way to resolve conflict in an effective manner,
    -to always respect everyone and their differences
    -to listen carefully to what others say while trying to understand what others are feeling.

  7. Already a fan on FB (Jenn Hayley Melanie). And the one thing I will personally do to put peace in the world is to teach my kids to show respect and treat everyone equally :).

  8. I wanted to add a post not to enter again but to answer why I have not posted about what happened.

    I am too sickened by it to say anything at all.

  9. I will teach my children to respect nature and enjoy walks outside as much as they can.

  10. Already a fan on facebook. Thank you for getting everyone thinking about how they can improve things in their lives.

    I shall teach my children to communicate without anger and hard words. I will enable them to discuss their emotions and respect others and how they feel. I will make a conscious decision to be aware of my surroundings and the people around me.

  11. I'm going to help my husband plant his first vegetable garden this year. And he's going to help me make dolls that will make other people happy. :) And, yes, I am a FB fan.

  12. I will teach my children that violence is not the answer. That there is ALWAYS a peaceful way to work out a matter what the problem. I am a FB fan and customer.

  13. always remember and consider things from other's point of view because you never really know what someone is going through until you have walked around in their shoes. I always try to keep this in mind in my profession of teaching high school. ~Sally

  14. I decided to make a waldorf-style doll for my aunt's kindergarten classroom which is located in a low-income neighborhood. I want to share a bit of warmth and comfort with these kids who might not be able to afford a handmade doll. I will also make a sweater and shoes!

  15. I just saw another story about this tonight on the news. So so sad. I always give a toy or 2 during the holidays to a local toy drive for needy families. This year I plan to donate to various charities more regularly and help support those in need more. Every little bit helps.

  16. i have already had LONG talks with my soon to be 6 year old son about people being different on the outside, but how we are all the same on the inside. we talk about why bullying is wrong and how to deal with bullies. we talk about being nice to others so as not to hurt others feelings. he is already a very sweet, conscious little boy who does not see others' differences. he has friends of all races and religions and loves all his friends equally=)

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  18. I love that you are doing this, it's thoughtful of you and it gets people thinking too :)

    To put a little peace in this world I will talk more to my children about the beauty of diversity and embracing each other's differences. I have also taken the TV out of their bedroom in an effort to reduce exposure to hateful language and to promote more active play in the house, so far they haven't missed it a bit and there's been a lot more happiness :)

  19. I will raise my children to be tolerant and understanding of diversity. I will teach them about different religions and customs and instill in them the importance of using your words instead of your fists.

  20. I will listen more carefully to others and do my best to think before i speak to be sure that my words are coming from a place of love and kindness.

    -Tracy D.