After Orlando, It’s Not Enough to Be Shocked and Saddened… We Must BE the Love and Prayers

I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort where we overlap. ~Ani DiFranco

I know I’m not alone. Sunday’s news from Orlando just gutted me.

I feel numb. I feel angry. I am just pissed off about some of the exhausting social media rhetoric that has been trending for the days since.

But mostly, I just feel saddened. Looking at the pictures of those lost is just absolutely heartbreaking. Young people, just starting out, with the promise of a bright future, cut short by a madman. I am saddened for the survivors, who will carry the memories of this tragedy, their lives being forever marked as before and after this night of terror.

[10 Powerful Listening Practices to Transform Your Interactions With Others]

And then I think about the families, beginning the arduous journey of grief, trying to make sense of the senseless.

Sadly, this has become all too common. And with the commonality comes this standard and scripted response. We are shocked and saddened, we are sending love and prayers. Appropriate hashtags are created to ensure our words of comfort are disseminated with the masses.  And then a few days pass…..and something else is trending, and any chance for meaningful change lessens by the minute.

I know we are genuinely shocked and saddened. I know the love and prayers are sincere.

It’s just not enough anymore.

We can no longer stand by and send love and prayers. We need to make a daily choice to embody that love, personify those prayers. We need to live the kind of life that leaves a fingerprint on the hearts of others. We need to respectfully stand up for those who need us, we need to honor those lost by expecting and ensuring that this country lives up to the all-inclusive possibility-filled dream of its founders.

[I’m Honoring the LGBT Movement This June & the Evolution of Life & Love]

Our prayer need to be one of peace, expressed by turning our back on the hate speak of those who would try to separate us, to make “us” feel like we are different from them.”

We need to express our love not just through our words, but in our actions:

One active expression of love for our country is the act of critical thinking; choosing to truly understand opposing ideas and beliefs so you are better equipped to find common ground.

I know it’s complicated. I know that deciding to live your love and prayers is more challenging than just sending them with a hashtag. I know it doesn’t solve the complicated problems of terrorism or gun control. I know it doesn’t bridge the gap between communities, religions or political parties.

But it’s something. And right now, it’s better than feeling helpless. It’s better than doing nothing at all.

[Read Maria Shriver’s latest ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ essay]

Person to person. I commit to be the love and prayers. So, I am sharing my love. I’m giving away love… because I have an endless supply, and there is always room to love one more person. I challenge you to do the same.

With love and gratitude for the gift of another day,



{Image credit: Pixabay}


About the Author

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Kelly Buckley is a wife, mother, author, speaker, the founder of the JOLT movement and an ever-evolving work in progress. Kelly has written two books, Gratitude in Grief and Just One Little Thing, all while wearing her rose colored glasses. She continues the spread the beautiful ripple of her son’s life by sharing her message of hope and happiness after loss.

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