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.