I have a green coffee mug that I have had since 2013. It cost a dollar. I know that because I saw it at the Dollar Store. I use it almost every week and plan to keep it until I lose it, break it or die. Why?
It was given to me as the final gift of a 41 year old friend that lost her life to brain and spinal cancer. She didn’t have a lot of money or the chance to shop as she spent most of her last few months in hospital beds, but she felt the need to get gifts for her special friends that spent days and nights by her side. She also gave me scratch offs that yielded me $7.00. All in all a nice bounty.
I am reminded on a daily basis that life doesn’t run by any simple rules of fairness or equality. In fact, for many good people, it sucks.
So often in my past, when I witness or am impacted by something heinous, I look to something good to balance that out.
Lately, that is becoming more difficult.
Recently, I was impacted by some events that sent shivers down my spine. Here are only a few:
Last June, nine innocent worshipers were senseless assassinated in their church where they sought salvation and prayer because they were black.
In October in Carlise, Pennsylvania, a 61 year old HIV positive man raped a six year old boy while another man videotaped.
In October, Derek Jones, 37 of Rocky Mount, NC was arrested for the alleged rape of an 11 year old.
All three men are behind bars, but awaiting a fair and just trial. For the murderer of nine, the initial opening statements will not occur until 17 months after the slaying.
On Thursday morning at 6:00 AM, just hours after the EmanuelAME shooting that left nine dead in my home city of Charleston, I watched the sunrise and stood in silence listening to the water in the harbor and wondering how and why. The silence in the air was deafening as I waited for some sign to tell me there was a purpose. There wasn’t. The victims wanted to go home to their families and live a full and long life. To this day, I have not stood on the sidewalk in front of that church.
Several months ago, I was in mixed company and current events came up and I was lost as I don’t watch much television, watch any news or read newspapers. One woman was shocked. She couldn’t comprehend why. I explained that the important things in my life are all around me. They are the people, things and events that shape my life.
Millions will react to every celebrity death, every plane crash, every bombing and for a few brief moments (because that is all this world of immediacy will allow us) we will mourn and move on.
I wish we all took some time to think and be still.
A song found its way to me and it symbolizes my goals for 2016 and beyond. Be still for a moment, left emotions absorb into you and find a way to give just a little goodness.
Lets Be Still – The Head and the Heart – Video