We must find courage and take action on what we believe can be done in the tsunami of sadness, emptiness, and emotion left behind after the massacre in Orlando. Social change happens when we respond with action to a need that inclusively benefits society. After Sandy Hook, when young children were murdered, we said enough was enough. However, no real action was taken. There was plenty of social media cry outs and processing, vigils all over the country, but no one, except the people directly impacted, altered their reality for change to happen.
This morning on the radio station I was listening to, the shows hosts were discussing the nightclub shooting. They were upset and hurt, which we all are, but they acknowledged that they “have a show to do” and were obligated to tell a humorous story so the show could go on. WTF?!?! That was their opportunity to be courageous and say no to taking the easy way out. We have to be uncomfortable and vulnerable because real change can only happen when we are.
THE SYSTEM IS NOT WORKING! In order for us to change as a society, our individual daily behavior has to change. We have to sit in the space and discuss it. We have to suffer a little to get to the new day. We have to set a new priority list of what and who is important. We have to give this change the time it deserves. We have to acknowledge that each one of us has a responsibility to a societal shift that will, not immediately, but long term, change how we operate as a collective.
This societal shift can revolve around whatever issue that shakes you the most because every issue is related and is rooted in the same place. We must take responsibility for each other. This ownership of compassion, integrity, empathy, love, inclusive fulfillment is missing from every issue: LGBTQ rights, education, racial divides, wealth inequality, corporate greed, green power, immigration, international food disparities, and on and on are all missing a universal responsibility.
As we once again acknowledge a change must happen, and fifty more lives have been taken from us, we must be responsible in multiple ways. First, we must share our thoughts, discuss how we are hurt, and send all of our love, prayers, good energy, and light to those directly affected by this tragedy. Additionally, we must sit in the uncomfortable space where inspiration and courage lies. The radio personalities this morning could have done so many alternative things than “having a show to do” and following the conversation with a humorous story. They could have offered numbers to call representatives or donate. They could have called an elected official on air. They could have challenged the listening audience to commit to a change in their lives. They could have done more. We can all do more.
I write this and acknowledge I too can be better and do more. Just like you, I am processing this, while I also process close personal death in my life. That raw emotion reminds me that I am human and that I, along with everyone else, am fragile and easily defeated. But we are also mighty and unstoppable, especially when we are united. This societal shift will come, it is inevitable. Now, right now, we have an opportunity to make this societal shift deliberate and proactive. It takes a little universal suffering, some purposeful changes, and simple individual courage.