Nearly a week ago I was babysitting a cute little girl, putting her to bed as the horrible events in Paris unfolded.
It was such an interesting moment, to be aware and concerned about a situation I’d learned about a few minutes before arriving at their house, while trying to be cheerful and happy for the sake of a 3 year old wearing Elsa & Anna pajamas.
I think being a parent must be the craziest emotional roller coaster ever – especially when bad things are happening. Thinking on your feet to make your kids feel safe (like this amazing Dad) is an extraordinary task.
As I’m writing this there are threats against NYC, people are talking about World War III and young shooting victims tell their stories of survival. Of wanting to die with “love in my heart”.
There’s a lot of heavy stuff going on.
It’s times like these when we need to take things back to basics.
Here are 3 easy things you can do to feel a little lighter:
1) Write love notes.
This is one of my favorite practices from Soul Camp. Two hundred strangers writing little notes to each other. My all time favorite camp love note said “I love you and I don’t even know you”.
What if you covered your own life with love notes? How would you plant the seed of change for someone else?
2) Show Gratitude.
As scary as the world is right now and as scary as things might get, I know I’ve never been more grateful for the little things. My dog. My warm apartment. Running water. An education. A fridge full of organic food and a cupboard filled with snacks.
What are you grateful for?
A gratitude practice has been credited with life changing results by some of the most prolific change-makers of our time.
You can start by writing down three things you’re grateful for each night. Or joining a 365 day gratitude challenge on facebook or writing down what your grateful for each day and sticking it in a jar to read one year from now. Gratitude can change everything.
3) Support education.
We can spend every second arguing about what creates terrorism or what takes otherwise normal young people and inspires them to do terrible things. Here’s one thing we know for sure: a sense of hopelessness leads people (especially men) to strike out. Whether that’s through rampant gun violence, sexual violence or joining an extremist organization.
You can read more about them here.
If you’d like to support Pencils of Promise via my fundraising page, you can click here.
I’d also highly encourage you to support the Malala Foundation. Started by the young women shot in the head simply because she wanted to go to school. She now works to bring access to education to other girls, especially those in Middle Eastern countries.
At the end of the day, being the change we wish to see in the world is the only way I can think of to fight back.
I love you and I don’t even know you.