The Boston Marathon bombing is just another in a long, long succession of random acts of violence brought to bear by a human race that is far, far over the precipice of salvaging self preservation for the generations yet to come. For eons, we have used religion, hate, bigotry, blame, goods, money, and power as legitimizing excuses to get what we want. Not what’s best for everyone, or best for our humanity, or best for our soul: what WE want. And it’s a myopic poverty.
I’m not going to rail on about our shortcomings as a race. Or a country. Or a state. Or a city. We all know what those are, and they are too myriad and numerous to even bring to bear. Instead, from this senseless, random act of violence, I have decided to fight back in the only way I know how: by communicating with my fellow man on the broadest platform that I may. My message is this:
Choose today to change. Teach your children by example. Hold yourself to a higher standard. Be the bigger person. When you feel the need to anger or lash out – don’t. Open a dialogue instead. Choose the right way over the easy way. Treat your marriage as the institution you swore to God and family you would, and not something to be tossed aside by a piece of paper in a courtroom. Tell someone that you love them. If you don’t want resultant children, then don’t be so shortsighted if you must engage in a sexual act. Commit a random act of kindness. Help a neighbor. Open a door for someone. Reconsider sniping comments. Look for the good in everyone. In short: re-invent yourself as a catalyst for change.
If even a few of you do this, the world will be a marginally better place. And, imagine, if a number of you do this – and pass the message of love, kindness, understanding, honor, honesty, and compassion along, how exponential the effect might be. It might even come back around to you in a positive way that you may never have imagined. Fellow Rockford natives, lovers of the city, and transplants: choose today. Our city is rife with evil, corruption, and malice but we still love it not for what it is, necessarily, but what we know it can – and ought to – be. These symptoms are a cancer: a cancer that can be cured. Choose today to make your city a brighter place, one person – one action – at a time. Use this fulcrum of mindless violence to be your catalyst on the path to your personal mission to take Rockford back. To take your life back. To take your soul back. To take your honor back. To become a bastion of society and a beacon of light, instead of a number in a faceless machine. Because if you don’t, then who will?
“We all get what everyone else gets on this Earth: we get a lifetime.” – Neil Gaiman
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