1. Ashley Carrell

    It’s like you read my mind with this post! Last night I saw some pictures of some children affected by the horror in Syria, and though I’ve seen these kinds of photos before, this time I couldn’t look away. My heart was broken at seeing these crying, terrified, blood-smeared little ones. I wanted to look away, but I just kept staring, wondering how on earth we are allowing other humans to go through this. I just felt so helpless, asking myself what I can do. I still don’t have answers, but at least I’m no longer looking away.

    • I don’t have all the answers either, but we have to start somewhere. For me, the first step is always those closest to me, beginning with myself, my family, and the people with whom I have direct contact. From there, it gets a little more tricky. I’m still trying to figure out how I can make a larger difference.

  2. Thank you for what you are doing. I sometimes wonder if a single voice can matter… but I appreciate everyone who raises that single voice.

    And great for keeping to your 8-week goals. I’ve faltered lot this week with overeating. I’ve come to realize that I am dealing with menopausal symptoms since coming off HRT with my cancer diagnosis. So mood swings, night sweats, hot flashes, and weight gain do not help me when food has so often been my solace for emotional pain & frustration. The knowing why has not make the stopping any easier.

    • You’re welcome Pat. All we can do is our best. Hopefully, all the voices together can bring about change. At least I will know I tried. And thanks for the encouragement on the fitness goal. Some weeks are better than others. It must be tough dealing with the physical and emotional aspects of cancer treatment and menopause all at the same time. I’m a comfort eater too, so I can relate to that aspect for sure.

  3. Hopefully this time the tide is turning. The student activists are amazing and remind me of the protests during the Vietnam War and how they changed the opinions of that war. “Thoughts and prayers” are a cheap soundbite and completely useless when our citizens are dying. Your three steps are a good starting point.

    • Thanks for your comments, Janis. The reaction of the youth also makes me hopeful. I agree with you that “thoughts and prayers” are too often used as a sound bite. I do believe genuine positive energy in the form of loving thoughts and prayers has healing powers and can also lead to action. That said, words alone are not enough. They must be accompanied by action.

  4. It is so hard to sit and watch these tings unfold Christie and I know I feel so powerless. Just today my Sentence a Day book had the prompt – what is one thing you would like to change in the world – and my answer was immediate, change the amount of violence in the world. Your thoughts are expressed really clearly articulate your thinking on this subject. In relation to your goals you are being accountable and honest in our recordings and I wish you well. My 12 week challenge is going OK but the scales have stopped moving neither up nor down for two weeks, but the tape measure indicates that changes are occurring so I’m happy with that! Sharing this for #mlstl

    • Thank you Deb. I know the steps I’ve outlined are small things in comparison to the magnitude of the problem we face, but it is a starting point.

      Thanks for the encouragement on my fitness challenge. I wish you luck as well! I would definitely put more “weight” on what the tape measure says than the scale.

  5. Hi, Christie – This post deeply resonates with me. When I retired (just over 2.5 years ago), I had a silent goal to help ’tilt the world towards peace’. Other than trying to be kind and respectful, this goal keeps getting buried in the ‘Too Hard Basket.’ I have saved your three steps and will reflect upon them. History has repeatedly proven that one voice can make a difference….and several voices that are truly united can become unstoppable!

    • Thank you for your input, Donna. I love that goal of tilting the world towards peace and can relate to putting it in the “too hard basket.” I just called mine the “things I can’t do anything about” basket. When I accepted that it wasn’t an all or nothing proposition, I was able to start looking for practical, manageable actions that I could perform. I truly believe that together we can make a difference.

  6. This resonates around the world doesn’t it and yet as small as we are individually maybe some of the action I see at grassroots level MAY help. I notice that teens are making it known that they want to be safe in US schools and won’t go back. Guns and the laws in each country are for that country to determine, but it sure is tough seeing what we see on our screens. Thoughts and prayers are still needed…but action by those with the power is needed more!! Denyse #mstlp

    • Yes, Denyse, I would agree on all points. We need the grassroots efforts, the thoughts and prayers, and the action by those in power to turn this thing around. Thanks for weighing in on the conversation.

  7. Hi Christie thank you so much for writing this post and sharing your thoughts with us at Midlife Share the Love Party. It is such a violent world that we live in and sometimes I despair that nothing seems to be changing. However, if everyone could read your three commitments and also make those same commitments we might be able to start something even if it is just in our immediate environment. We watched in horror again at the school shooting in the US. Our gun laws are quite strict and sometimes not popular however since the Port Arthur shootings back in the mid 90s we haven’t had any mass shootings since then. You inspire me each week and I thank you. #MLSTL

  8. This is a well written, and thoughtful piece of work. For some time now I have kept my mouth shut, unwilling to “get into it” with those who clearly do not have similar beliefs when it comes to guns, violence and politics. I worried that I would lose “friends”. Although I do not argue with anyone(no need for that, seems useless to me) I am now willing to have a discussion with others that may not believe as I do. I am now OK with those people no longer being my “friends”. I am allowing my circle of acquaintances to become smaller. I now feel like I am surrounded by those that lift me(and the world) up, no one around me to drag me down.

    • It is frightening to speak our minds at times, but we’ve reached a point where we can no longer in good conscience remain silent. In return, I try to listen to opposing views with an open mind. As you said, there is no need to argue or be disrespectful. If “friends” are lost simply because you won’t agree with them or go silently along with them, I am also okay with that. It has been said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Thanks Cherie for joining the conversation.

  9. You are so right about how de-senstitized we are to violence and the reality of our actions (I noticed this years ago when our son started driving – all the “Need for Speed” video games made him a much more aggressive driver with less appreciation for the risks he was taking – fortunately age, marriage and fatherhood have now replaced those early traits). I am horrified at the acceptance of the gun culture in the US – completely foreign to us in Australia, but at the same time, we watch the atrocities in the Middle East on the news and it barely registers.
    I think we all have to start in our little corner of the world and speak up when given the opportunity – but with grace and compassion – I hate the vitriole I see when people start arguing on FB etc.
    Thanks for linking this with us at #MLSTL – I’ve shared your post on my SM.

    • Thank you Leanne. I agree if we could incorporate more grace and compassion in our dialogue, it would go a long way toward finding the solutions. I appreciate you hosting the Midlife Share the Love link party. I love it!

  10. Christie this is a very thoughtful post. I have also wondered what more can I do. I pray for our government leaders that they make good decisions. I am very much in favor of better mental health care. I also pray for our children of today and why so many choose to go down the wrong path. Drugs and mass murder is so beyond my understanding of how to handle life. I do write my representatives when I don’t feel they are representing my thoughts though so far they aren’t hearing me.

  11. I think all of your personal goals are worthy. They add to a collective desire to make sense of the current calamity which surrounds us. And although I’m troubled by publicly elected officials how say “thoughts and prayers,” I am heartened by the private citizens who say it — it adds to the sense that we are all in this together, which I believe we are. So between that and your own newly-found advocacy, I commend you, Christie. Great post.

    • Thank you Marty. It’s first steps. I hope to find more ways to contribute and make my voice heard, but it’s a start. I firmly believe we are in this together, and we will have to come together to make real change.

  12. What a crazy and mean world we live in Christie. I say that because a beautiful post like this is not the norm anymore. Caring for our fellow man is not the norm anymore. Being kind and gentle with a person in need is not the norm anymore. Sadly, as you said, we are becoming so desensitized to the violence and the meanness, and the coldness until that has become the norm. This new world frightens me. When someone can just decide to walk into a school filled with children and shoot or a movie theatre filled with people you don’t even know and just shoot, we are doing something wrong. I say we as a society and it makes me sad. Sad because for those of us who want to help and have helped the less fortunate in the past, it now becomes a tough decision. Do I roll down my window to give this homeless person a few dollars or do I keep driving because it could be a trick to hi-jack my car or worse to hurt me. We should not have to live like that. Sorry, I did not mean to go on and on, but your post describes exactly what I’ve felt for a while now. I will still send positive thoughts and I will defiinitely pray but I want and need to do more. Thank you for sharing with Blogging Grandmothers. Shared. #BloggingGrandmotherLinkParty

    • Yes, Clearissa it is sad and scary. The good news is there are people doing kind and extraordinary things every day. That’s why I love this quote from Fred Rogers, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” I want to be one of the helpers.

  13. You have some good ideas. Now if we could just everyone else in the world to care enough about themselves (minus their egos) and others to do the same.

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