I step on my Serious Soapbox today, so if you’re looking for the funny, be warned. That being said, I have a challenge for everyone this week. A link is live HERE until the end of Friday, September 23rd.
There is a lot of anger in this world. Hate. Fear. Despair.
The Darkside, if you will.
It is easy to let it take over and rule your world.
Sometimes, as the ten year anniversary of 9-11 reminds us, the Darkside attacks the innocent.
Because people let hate take over.
Hate over someone’s race, religion, sexuality makes no sense to me. Whether they are choices or how they were born, people just are. I continue to be amazed (sadly so) how some attack people for these very things.
But it isn’t just “the big three” reasons that bring the Darkside out in us.
Sleep deprivation shortens one’s fuse, snapping when you might otherwise smile, or ignore.
Children, innocent but devious, will push a parent’s buttons to test their limits – seeking the snapping point.
The idiot in front of you on the highway who cuts you off then slams on the brakes and nearly causes a pile up is also quite good at raising the wrath rate.
But we all make mistakes.
We are human. We are fallible.
We can choose to let the Darkside fill as we spew creative curse words because our children are in the back seat.
“Why are you saying that, Mommy?” my son asks, when I cannot hold back the anger of the moment.
“Because the car did something very dangerous and Mommy was scared we’d get into an accident.”
Our anger and venom are often a weapon: to attack fear.
Sometimes they are used to wield power over another.
But it is still because they’re afraid.
Kelly, why are you going off about the Darkside on this very unlike-you tangent?
I’m glad you asked.
I spent much of last weekend watching hate and anger rip apart a family.
I watched rants and tirades spew from someone’s lips because their child dared associate with a musical group made up of people who were not heterosexual.
I read threats and ultimatums to renounce “the evil”.
Granted, this parent has psychological issues – PTSD being the minor of two.
But the venom.
Spouting bastardized Bible to do it.
It made me sad for her. For this world.
Because God to me is love. Acceptance. Forgiveness.
Not hate and damnation.
My husband and I plan to teach our children to accept others for their differences.
To embrace the good and leave the bad.
Another friend, Wheelchair Mommy, inspires me every time I see her. Today is the twelfth anniversary of an accident that left her paralyzed and in a wheelchair.
Did she mope? Did she let it defeat her?
No. She found love. She married. She has three boys (I’m still in awe over this, given my very active Tackler).
She faces everything with a smile.
I want the world to be like her.
These two friends inspired me to issue a challenge today, should you choose to accept it.
1. Avoid the Dark Side: If you feel anger at someone, try to smile. If you want to scream, sing your favorite song instead. If someone cuts you off, be sure to let the next person in instead of passing on the anger. Keep a level head if your children test you. And if you have one of those really, really bad days, try to get someone to give you a small break, call a friend who would understand, or say you need virtual hugs on Facebook/Twitter. Just don’t pass on the frustration to another.
2. Pay it Forward: Do something random to help a stranger. Pay extra money at a toll for a car (or two) behind you. Give your waitress an extra tip if she was nice. Bring doughnuts to the early morning meeting. Buy a stranger’s coffee. Smile at anyone who makes eye contact. If anyone asks you why, just say, “Pay it forward and do the same for someone else.”
3. Show “I Love You”: Try to avoid taking out negative feelings on those closest to you. Hug your children more than usual. Smile at them more. Create a new tradition. Laugh together. Cuddle with your spouse. Buy them flowers or a favorite treat just because you love them. Or make a mix tape/CD/iTunes play list for them. Send a friend a thank you email for something awesome they did for you. Call up an old friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Tell your mother/father/grandparent/sibling/cousins you love them. Show your family and friends that you accept and love them for who they are, not what they are.
4. Post this as your status on Facebook and/or Twitter sometime this week and ask others to pass it on:
“I accept people for who they are as a person. I don’t base it on the color of their skin or if they are straight or gay. I don’t care if they follow the Koran, The Bible, or something else, as long as they treat everyone with respect.”
5. Grab the button and blog about numbers 1 -3 above that you and/or someone else did. Or just add it to the comments below. A linky is live at Writing with Chaos (my other blog is self-hosted so you can see the links, whereas this one is free WordPress and blocks the scripts) and everyone can link up their posts of what they did this week to meet the challenge.
It can be as simple as not losing your cool when your kids found the permanent marker and decorated the white walls, tile, counters, clothes, and themselves, to not flipping off the person who really pissed you off, to paying for someone else’s coffee.
Please pass this post and challenge on to others. Share it on Facebook. Tweet it out. Heck, Stumble it if that’s your thing. Let’s try to have a mass of positive energy this week flow around the world.