The Power of the Moment
The Power of the Moment
The other day, I was sitting at lunch with my kids as they started to discuss the Texas shooting and started to wonder why the news had moved on from this story so quickly.
My son said, “Wow, that Texas story was wild. Why aren’t more people talking about that? Isn’t it weird that it just came and went?”
I thought about that. Stories used to stop us all cold in our tracks. Now, they just seem to come and go. Moments that used to bring a collective sense of grief—a collective sense of oneness—now seem to come and go without landing.
I told my children what it used to be like when a big story like Columbine would dominate the news and our national conversation for weeks. We would come together to converse, to wonder, to express outrage or pain. Now, it seems that when a tragedy like the one in Las Vegas happens, we move on. When a tragedy like the one in Texas happens, we scroll by. And so it goes.
The stories of those who lost their lives in Texas still sit in my mind. The young mother who gave her life to protect her kids. The young daughter of the pastor whose bright future was gone in a moment. The shock, the trauma, and the grief: it still exists for those who were in that church, or who were at that Vegas concert, or who lived in the path of the hurricanes and fires. For them, this news doesn’t just come and go. It stays.
As we roll towards the holidays, my hope is that we can somehow slow down our scrolling and swiping and focus our attention on these monumental moments that are happening all around us. I hope we can also take a moment to embrace the magnificent chance at life that each and every one of us has. Remember, life isn’t a guarantee for any of us. If you are blessed to celebrate a new year of life, it behooves you to think about owning it and making it matter. Why? Because you are one of the lucky ones.
May we all slow down and reflect on how life is unfolding around us. May we take a moment to think and wonder about stories of tragedies and sadness. May we consider what they mean, who was affected, and how we can work to move forward and hopefully one day prevent these things from happening.
At the same time, may we also stop and celebrate the moments of inspiring change and acceptance that are happening all around us. May we stop and celebrate individuals who are seizing their moment and doing what they can to make a difference and move humanity forward. Individuals like Danica Roem, whose election to the Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday made her the first openly transgender woman to take state office. Or, Vito Perillo, a 93-year-old World War 2 veteran who had never run for office before, but on Tuesday, became the mayor of Tinton Falls, NJ. “I like for people to see that as old as I am, you can still do and accomplish things,” Perillo told his local NBC affiliate. I mean, wow. How amazing is that?
Life really is just a series of moments. A day is made up of 1440 minutes, each a moment to make our own. How many moments are in a life? None of us know.
Today, take a moment. Take one of those 1440 minutes to remember the lives behind the numbers, as well as the life that is still yours to embrace. Doing so is not only good for your own soul. It’s also good for the foundation of our collective community.
Tick tock. What are you going to do with your day?
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P.S. For more of what “I’ve Been Thinking,” I hope you’ll check out my upcoming book, “I’ve Been Thinking…: Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life.” It’s available for pre-order now. I was inspired to write it thanks to all of the positive feedback I receive from you, readers of The Sunday Paper, each week. So, thank you. I love being in community with you.
VIEWS ABOVE THE NOISE
VIEWS TO OPEN YOUR HEART
A MOMENT TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT: It was reflections on their own lives that inspired Architects of Change Barbara and Jenna Bush to write their first book together, “Sisters First: Stories From Our Wild and Wonderful Life.” In a conversation with me this week, the twins said that they finally felt like now was their moment to share their perspective about being born into a political dynasty, their childhood and their lives moving forward. [WATCH HERE]
A VIEW TO IGNITE YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT
A MOMENT TO IMPROVE A FAMILY’S WELL-BEING: Motherhood was a moment that changed everything for Architect of Change Jessica Alba. When she paused to consider the well-being of her new family, Jessica says she knew she wanted access to natural and effective products not found in the marketplace. This led her to found The Honest Company, one of the biggest and most successful product lines in stores today. I had the pleasure of speaking with Jessica this week at her beautiful office in Los Angeles. [WATCH HERE]
A VIEW TO MAKE YOU THINK
A MOMENT TO INSPIRE POLITICAL CHANGE: The Centrist Project was born out of the belief that at this moment in time, our two-party political system is broken. This week, executive director Nick Troiano and board member Marc Merrill spoke with me about how the Centrist Project hopes to move America forward by reshaping the way we look at politics. [WATCH HERE]
A VIEW FOR YOUR DINNER TABLE CONVERSATION
A MOMENT TO HONOR THOSE WHO AVERT CALAMITY BEFORE IT HAPPENS: In times of crisis, we always take notice of the first-responders, courageous men and women who arrive on the scene to help save lives. But what about the first, first responders? Author and Architect of Change Elizabeth Lesser, founder of the Omega Institute, suggests we reflect upon and honor those whose professions might actually avert calamity before it happens. [READ MORE]
HEALING THE HOUSEHOLDS OF VETERANS: In honor of Veteran’s Day, this week we honor Lisa Colella, president and founder of Healing Household 6, as our Architect of Change of the Week. A military wife whose family struggled to stay together after her husband’s deployment, Colella started her organization to help support the families of other U.S. veterans who may be coping with trauma, domestic violence or other emergency situations. [READ MORE]
NEWS ABOVE THE NOISE
Here are a few of the stories that caught my attention this week:
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT RUNNING FOR OFFICE?: Joe Biden is privately telling people that he might run for office in 2020, especially if it means preventing Trump from getting a second term. [READ MORE]
WOMEN MAKING POLITICAL HISTORY: Tuesday’s local elections saw female candidates scoring big wins across the country. [READ MORE]
RECORD NUMBER OF OBAMACARE SIGNUPS: Despite Trump administration cutbacks in outreach and advertising, a record number of people have signed up for Obamacare this year compared to the same period in previous years. [READ MORE]
STARBUCKS CHAIRMAN QUESTIONS REPUBLICAN TAX BILL: Speaking at a New York Times’ DealBook Conference this week, Starbucks Chairman Howard Shultz called the proposed tax bill “fools gold,” stating it will do little to improve the lives of typical Americans. [READ MORE]
“HAMILTON” GOES TO PUERTO RICO: Lin-Manuel Miranda is taking his hit musical to the island to raise money for those affected by Hurricane Maria. [READ MORE]
Robert Frost is one of my favorite American poets and “The Road Not Taken,” one of my favorite poems. It is a representation of the real world, poetically stating that we are all confronted with, and defined by, the choices we make in life.
INSPIRATION FOR THE WEEK AHEAD
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We’re so excited to announce that we’ve added a few new items to our shop! Check out our stylish apparel to fight Alzheimer’s, created in partnership with Art With a Purpose. You can also pre-order Maria’s new book “I’ve Been Thinking…: Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life.” Visit the shop on MariaShriver.com to learn more!
READ MORE ABOUT WHAT I'VE BEEN THINKING
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