Maria’s Sunday Paper: Now Is the Time to Find Your Voice. Now Is the Time to Care.
Maria’s Sunday Paper: Now Is the Time to Find Your Voice. Now Is the Time to Care.
I’ve changed this column numerous times over the past few days.
Why? Because words matter, and I wanted to convey a message this week that is hopeful, yet still has just the right amount of indignation to it. After all, this is a moment that requires some indignation.
Over the last few days, I have found myself stopping, staring, shaking my head, and getting upset at what I’ve seen. My friends, this is not a moment to scroll by. This is a moment to make your voice heard. I’m not just talking about the important issue of immigration. (I think we all know that immigration reform is needed, and I do believe that we can come to a conclusion that is both compassionate and respectful of our borders.) I’m talking about making your voice heard on all issues that we face today, and that we’ll continue to face in the days, weeks, and months to come.
This is not a moment to lose your mind and rant and rage. I don’t believe that ranting and raging works. What I do believe works is using our voices in a forceful, confident, and collective way. What works are voices that express just the right amount of outrage, just the right amount of shock, and just the right amount of care — as in, capital CARE.
This is not a moment to joke around because there is really nothing funny about what’s going on in our country today. There is nothing funny about what’s going on in our public discourse, our politics, or the media.
This is a moment for reflection. This is a moment to ask oneself, “What do I really care about?” and “Who are we at this moment in time?”
Well, when I step back, close my eyes and take a deep breath, I know who we are. We are a nation of people with hearts and souls. We are a nation of full-hearted people. We are a nation of immigrants. We are a nation that I truly believe can come together and find a way forward.
My brother Timothy says that there is a fight going on right now for the heart and soul of our country. I believe that to be true, too. This is a fight for our fundamental values. It’s a fight for our democracy. It’s a fight for who we are and what we stand for as a family. We are a family, after all, and strong families have strong values, morals, boundaries and responsibilities.
Sit with that. Let it sink in, because it’s true.
Each of us is going to have to decide what side of the battle we are on today. It’s not about what party we identify with. It’s about our values. It’s about what we care about.
Are we going to stand up and speak out? Or will we decide to stand down instead? It’s up to each of us.
Now is the moment to decide what we care about and what we are willing to fight for. We are going to have to step outside of our comfort zones, find our voices, and take a stand. We all are. Because the images we witnessed this week are just the beginning. There will inevitably be more images and stories that will make us uncomfortable — ones that will really pull at our hearts and disturb our minds. And believe me, they won’t be fake. They’ll be as real as it gets.
You. Me. Us. We all have to decide what we care about and what we stand for. Do we care about America’s standing in the world? Do we care about our neighbors and our allies? Do we care that Medicare and Medicaid are going to get slashed? Do we care that millions of our fellow citizens are working hard and still living paycheck to paycheck? Do we care about language, about civic discourse, and about bullying? This is all happening on our watch, and the list goes on…
This is not a time for those who really don’t care. This is not a time for those who say “womp womp.” I have no time or respect for them. Let them exit stage right.
Right now, caring has never been more important. A prominent person on the world’s stage posed a question about caring to all of us this week. It deserves an answer.
So, take some time to think about what you care about, then gather yourself and take a deep breath. Because if you care, you’re going to have to be prepared to defend what you care about with all you’ve got. Not with clothes. But with your whole heart and soul.
Ask yourself, “Am I ready? Am I willing? Am I able?”
As the Hopi Elders said long ago, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for. The time is coming, so gather yourselves. It’s almost here.
Are you going to be one of the people who care, or not? In the end, like anything, it’s up to you.
“I’ve Been Thinking… Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life:” A book of reflections for those seeking wisdom, guidance, encouragement, and inspiration on the road to a meaningful life. [ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY]
WHAT OTHERS HAVE BEEN THINKING
The Architects of Change below will inspire you and make you think.
BOB GOFF EXPLAINS WHY WE MUST NAVIGATE OUTSIDE OUR COMFORT ZONE IN ORDER TO MOVE FORWARD
This excerpt from Sunday Paper columnist Bob Goff’s new book, “Everybody, Always,” is a wonderful read. Through a personal anecdote, Bob illustrates why “playing it safe doesn’t move us forward or help us grow; it just finds us where we are and leaves us in the same condition it found us in.” [READ MORE]
MEDIA COMMENTATOR SALLY KOHN REACHES OUT TO ONLINE ‘TROLLS’ IN AN EFFORT TO CREATE CIVIL DISCOURSE
In this fascinating excerpt from her new book, “The Opposite of Hate,” author, activist and media commentator Sally Kohn does something very difficult. She confronts her “trolls,” those who post negative social media messages about her, with the hope of starting a positive discussion. [READ MORE]
JACK KORNFIELD REMINDS US THAT RESPECTFUL ‘LISTENING’ CAN GET US THROUGH UNCOMFORTABLE SITUATIONS
I love this wonderful story recounted by my dear friend and Sunday Paper columnist Jack Kornfield. He speaks of a primate biologist who stepped outside his comfort zone in order to study the true behaviors of gorillas in their natural habitat. His story reminds us that we each have a beautiful capacity within to understand one another, even when it isn’t easy. [READ MORE]
TWO WOMEN STEP OUTSIDE THEIR COMFORT ZONE TO CREATE NEW ‘ROAD MAP’ FOR THEIR LIVES
I love that Architects of Change Lana Helda and Jojami Tyler made a point of stepping outside their comfort zones to refocus their life’s purpose. The two have taken to the road and created the Ladies Road Map podcast to inform and inspire women over 40. [READ MORE]
AFTER SUICIDE ATTEMPTS, TEENAGER DEVELOPS LIFE-SAVING APPS TO HELP OTHERS WITH ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
This week, we honor the Amanda Southworth as our Architect of Change of the Week. Once overwhelmed by depression and anxiety, Amanda saw no end to her misery. What changed her life was an introduction to technology through a sixth-grade robotics course. She went on to develop a love for coding and created her first app, AnxietyHelper, in 2015. It provides information, resources, and tools for kids suffering from mental health issues like she did. [READ AMANDA’S STORY HERE]
NEWS ABOVE THE NOISE
News stories that have us thinking…
1. Ronan Farrow Tells Graduates to Trust Their Inner Voice at Commencement Address: This is a great example of someone stepping outside his comfort zone. During a commencement speech at Loyola University in Los Angeles, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow spoke about the obstacles and doubts he faced while covering the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal for the The New Yorker. He also spoke about what he learned about going with your gut and following your heart in order to make a difference. [WATCH HIS SPEECH ABOVE]
2. GOP Strategist Steve Schmidt Renounces His Political Party: I know Steve well and have worked alongside him. This move definitely puts him outside his comfort zone, and I’m proud of him for speaking up for what he believes. [READ MORE]
3. New Study Reveals a Virus May Play Role in Causing Alzheimer’s: This is a fascinating study just published in the Journal Neuron. The research reveals compelling evidence that viruses, particularly two types of herpes, might be involved in Alzheimer’s. [READ MORE]
4. Scientist Diagnosed with ALS Perseveres and Continues to Help Others: I am so impressed with this man’s strength and fortitude. A researcher of degenerative brain diseases, Rahul Desikan, 40, was, himself, diagnosed with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Since his diagnosis, Desikan has authored 25 papers in major academic journals on topics such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. [READ MORE]
5. Humor Helps People Living With Alzheimer’s: Laughter is always the best medicine. A group in Australia called Laughter Bosses tours the country teaching humor as a basis to treat patients with dementia. [READ MORE]
6. Video Game Addiction Now Classified as Mental Health Condition by World Health Organization: This eye-opening new report reveals the health effects of playing too many video games. [READ MORE]
8. Why It’s Okay to Do Nothing: This is something that I constantly need to remind myself. A professor of philosophy tells us that it’s okay to be idle. [READ MORE]
9. Autistic Boy Who Rarely Speaks Addresses Fellow Students at Graduation: This is a very powerful video featuring a young man with autism. Sef Scott, 17, is known to fellow students as mostly nonverbal, so when he took to the stage at his high school graduation, what he told pointed out the “unexpected.” [WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW]
I found this beautiful reflection by Pema Chodron to be appropriate for this Sunday. She reminds us that facing our fears head-on is the bravest thing we can do for ourselves.
INSPIRATION FOR THE WEEK AHEAD
SOMETHING TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND
I’m so delighted to announce that my SuperSoul Conversation with my dear friend Oprah Winfrey premieres today on Facebook! Our conversation can be watched starting at 11am EST/8am PST Sunday, June 24, on the SuperSoul Sunday Facebook page and on Oprah’s Facebook page. Our podcast conversation premieres on iTunes tomorrow as well. Please tune in and hear what we’ve been thinking!
THE MARIA SHRIVER COLLECTION: GOOD FOR YOU, GOOD FOR YOUR MIND, & GOOD FOR THE WORLD
SOMETHING TO BUY
Visit the shop on MariaShriver.com to get Maria’s book “I’ve Been Thinking,” her coloring book for Alzheimer’s “Color Your Mind,” the Maria candle, DVDs of her PBS Special “Brain Secrets,” Rivet Revolution bracelets benefiting The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, and our limited time Koral Move for Minds leggings!
SOMETHING TO TRY
JOIN ME AND EXERCISE YOUR BRAIN: This week, I’m proud to announce my partnership with Brain HQ and the launch of our new program to raise the bar on women’s brain health. Women’s brains have a special journey, with different experiences and challenges from those of men. Together with BrainHQ, we’re now offering women a practical and scientifically-proven tool that can improve their cognitive health and can fit easily into their busy lives. [SIGN UP NOW AT WWW.MARIA.BRAINHQ.COM]
SUPPORT MOVE FOR MINDS THROUGHOUT JUNE!
THE MOVEMENT TO CHANGE THE FUTURE FOR ALL MINDS CONTINUES!
Throughout Brain Awareness Month, join Maria Shriver and The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement in our fight against Alzheimer’s. Here are a few ways to get involved:
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READ MORE ABOUT WHAT I'VE BEEN THINKING
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