“I am tired, just fatigued.”
I spoke those words in a meeting with acquaintances yesterday as we chatted about the recent wave of hate crime murders in Buffalo, NYC and other cities.
We had no idea as we gathered that horror was unfolding in Texas, and when I learned about the school shooting last night, I had no words.
I was left speechless because words seemingly haven’t served as a shield.
Yet, I realized this morning that while they may be rambling or awkward or filled with trepidation, words do matter.
Words still hold power.
Words can be the first step to keeping hate from having the final say.
So we must use them, however imperfectly,
to voice our anger,
to share our collective pain,
to let the families of these 19 murdered children and their two teachers know they don’t grieve alone;
to speak the names of those who were killed yesterday,
and in recent weeks, and even over the years,
so that these men, women and children don’t become invisible casualties in the hate that seeks to become a societal norm.
We must speak up and speak out, because regardless of whether we personally know victims of gun violence and hate crimes,
humanity is deeper than DNA.
We are our brothers only keepers.
We are our sisters only keepers.
We are our children’s collective keepers, too, and we cannot quit on the job.
When one soars we all benefit. When one is harmed, we should all be hurting.
I can only imagine how every teacher, principal and school official aches today – wanting to protect your “school babies” yet having to talk to them about murder.
I still have no words that can make it any better. But I hope that knowing I care helps.
Because I am a woman of faith I am indeed praying for God to bring comfort to the families and all who are grieving.
Because I‘ve long lent my voice to child advocacy issues, I also will lean into seeking out ways to support changes in policies and laws that can make a positive difference.
I will continue to vote.
I will stand for good in other tangible ways, on an ongoing basis, even when silence could be easier.
So yes, I am tired.
And yes, my heart is broken.
And yes, I’m at a loss for perfectly poised words.
But even so, this post matters, and your words and actions do, too.
Please, please use them to help staunch the hate and end the violence.