I’m thinking of doing a thing. I’m not sure if it’s a great idea, or a stupid one, or if anything will come of it, but I’m going to do it anyway.
There is so much bad stuff going on in our country right now and I don’t know what to do. I’ve donated, I’ve marched, I call my reps regularly (the bastards never call me back). I’ve signed petitions. I’ve joined groups. I’ve voted, and educated myself on all sorts of legislation. I know I’m doing my part, but I’m still scared to send my kid to school next week, and I still feel helpless.
I was talking to a professor from my master’s program recently who was an activist during the civil rights movement, who told me that when you’ve done everything you can do to push for change, you talk about peace. You write about peace. You model peace, show people what it looks like.
We need change, but we also need a culture shift. So here’s what I’m thinking: I want to post something about peace and kindness, and encourage others to do the same. Maybe a photo or write-up of a peaceful moment in your day, or a kind act you witness (or even do yourself), it doesn’t have to be big. I know this is strange, and that people are uncomfortable drawing attention to kindness, especially their own – it feels boastful, and if it comes with secondary gain it defeats the purpose, right? I’m uncomfortable with it too, to be honest. But here’s the thing, hate has no problem marketing itself. It’s all over the internet. We fight it with love, but how? By silently doing “the right thing”? My 6 year old learns kindness from examples (ok, he also learns A LOT of things he shouldn’t, too). If I didn’t model how to care for people, he wouldn’t know how it’s done. We learn through example, and right now the mob is America’s teacher.
But if we draw attention to peace and kindness, it might change the conversation a little.
So much of social media is a trash fire now, and I’ll be the first to admit I turn it off for long stretches because I can’t stand the negativity. But maybe putting something good on it will show people that we’re not completely helpless. We can make small changes in each other’s lives that work to sew up the divide between us. Or maybe it will get sucked into the void like everything else. All I know is I’ve done everything I know how to for change, and now I need to do something to model peace.
So I’m going to post a peaceful or kind moment on a regular basis starting now with THIS and THIS. Each future post will include a short write-up about it and use the hashtag #postaboutpeace on my Instagram and Facebook. If you’d like to participate, that would be great (you don’t have to do it regularly!) – just do a short post highlighting something peaceful to you, or someone/thing kind (you could even do you!) and use #postaboutpeace. If you’d rather not do your own and instead would like me to post on your behalf, email your submission to me (kris10simmons (at) gmail.com) or you’re welcome to repost my #postaboutpeace posts your own platforms. If you’d rather not participate, I get that too. We are all handling this in different ways. This isn’t about books or promotion or anything, I just want something good out there.
Thanks for reading,
PS. Special credit to awesomesauce Cori McCarthy of the # idea!