I am livid.
Anger, instead of my heart, is what pumped the blood through my body.
It’s because my heart broke as I read and watched (warning, there’s a lot of language) accounts of the events that have transpired in and because of Charlottesville these last few days.
Maybe you feel the same anger, too.
Regardless, I knew I needed to add my voice to the countless other I’ve read online in the last few hours.
Because that anger has become all too familiar these last few years. I don’t know about you, but to me it feels like the world is only getting worse.
Tonight I told Eric we shouldn’t have any more children, as I thought of the darkness that is sure to lie ahead. I found myself sighing heavily over and over. You know the kind of sigh, as if your body is trying to find some kind of physical way of purging the stress from inside of it. But the more I breathed, the more the stress and anger seemed to consume me rather than leave me.
And that’s when it hit me.
Anger is what led men and women to march with tiki torches lit, burning like a beacon of hate. Anger is what led to protestors taking to the streets in opposition of white supremacy.
I don’t blame the protestors for being angry. I’m angry too. Furious, really, that so much hate exists in this world. Angry at our president. Angry that someone could hate another person for the color of their skin, their religion, their sexual orientation. Angry about so much.
Racism in any form is inexcusable and heartbreaking and I will not just sit by and say and do nothing.
So yes, I’m angry.
But somehow, I had to find a way to let that anger go.
As I was going to bed last night, the anger turned to sadness, grief.
I read my scriptures even though I didn’t want to. Because that’s what you do when something terrible like this happens.
You roll up your sleeves, even when you don’t feel like it, and go to work.
I was in high school when I first read the quote by Ghandi “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
It was on the wall of a random classroom in Utah that I was competing in at a drama festival. It struck me to my core.
So much so that I wrote a play about it. (Here’s a confession session I wasn’t ever planning on making public, but this girl was once a winner of Utah’s Young Playwright Festival. I’ll add that to my Twitter bio.)
The play was about a woman’s realization of her role as a beacon of light in a dark world. I have often thought of that silly little play I wrote over 10 years ago. It was a bit progressive for me as a person. I’ve grown into that woman over the last decade, trying desperately to be a light in my small sphere.
I’ll admit, some days are better than others.
I’ve witnessed some awful things over the years. Each event has changed me ever so slightly. But I’d like to think that what matters more is how I, and every other human, reacts to the evil of the world. Rather than responding with more evil, more hate, more violence, we HAVE to choose good.
We can’t afford not to.
So today, and tomorrow and the next day, I’ll keep reading my scriptures, reaching toward God, praying that in return, he’ll reach toward me and keep molding me into a beacon of light.
I’ll try to share uplifting things online, smile at strangers, pick up litter, pay my tithing, strengthen the feeble knees and lift the hands that hang down.
I’ll teach my children to be kind and good. To stand for what is right, even if it’s unpopular. I’ll teach them to be loving and compassionate, to empathize with people that think, act or look differently from them.
And hopefully, they’ll teach their children, who will teach their children, who will teach their children, and so on. And maybe one day, one of my great-great-grandchildren will stumble upon this blog, and know that I tried my best to lift where I stood. And just maybe, that great-great-grandchild will be inspired to do the same.
Because that’s what I have to do when something like Charlottesville happens.
Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I still believe that good will always triumph over evil.
Somedays, the good just needs a little extra help.
And that’s where we come in.