I haven’t been writing since the Sandy Hook shootings because I haven’t known what to say. I haven’t had the words and there are so many others that can say it better than me. I can write that I’m scared and angry and heartsick, but I don’t think any of those words are enough to describe the way this has made me feel.
I haven’t written because, what is there to say? Those babies are gone and those families are hurting and nothing I say or do is going to change that. I keep imagining the scene, imagining what it would be like if that were my baby. How those parents must feel. I can’t even. I can’t even imagine it. As much as I’d like to forget the whole thing, erase it from my mind and not know it anymore I simply can not. I’ve just been allowing myself to feel it. To marinate in the sadness and grief and fear. It’s the least I can do for those families. Their babies will not be forgotten.
I haven’t written because there’s nothing I can offer to make it better or make it go away. It’s here and it’s real and am I even really writing this? HOW IS THIS REAL, GODDAMMIT?
But then yesterday I was reading a post by Elizabeth and she referenced the #26acts of kindness initiated by Ann Curry. I hadn’t heard about this until yesterday but it’s beautiful and brilliant and finally here is something I can do…
To participate you pledge to do 26 acts of kindness in memory of each victim in Sandy Hook Elementary. Some people started it by doing 20 - one for each of the kids, then some upped it to 26 for each child and adult in the school. Some have even pledged 28 to include the shooter and his mother. I am pledging 28, because if this is about kindness, let us truly start with kindness and an open heart.
People have been tweeting and instagramming their acts of kindness with the hashtag #26acts (or 20 or 28) and not because they are trying to gloat or show off, but to fan the flame of this warm, wonderful fire. It’s meant to light a spark of kindness and encourage it to grow and spread in to a full on movement. Now that is something I can get behind. That is something I can do.
And so I’m pledging 28 acts of kindness, in fact I’ve already done my first one. One of the other Pre-K moms has been collecting money to get gift cards for Wes’s teacher and her teaching aid for christmas. I figured I’d send in a twenty dollar bill, ten dollars toward each one and call it a day. That’s what I was planning on doing before Sandy Hook. And so I did, I still sent in my envelope with twenty dollars in it. But I also sent in a pretty wrapped gift that Wes picked out especially for his teacher with a card and another fifty dollar bill inside and thanked her for doing such an important job.
I’ve seen some people tweeting that it shouldn’t take a tragedy for people to do kind things, and they’re right. It shouldn’t, it should just be how we are. And that’s what I’m going to be working on. My new year’s resolution this year is to be more kind. To do my 28 acts of kindness and then to just keep going, to make it a way of life. That is something I can do.
And so, I’m encouraging all of you to join me, to pledge 20, 26, 28 acts, whatever you can do, because if there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that this world needs more kindness and a lot more love. So be kind, be generous with your time, your money, your compliments. Go that little extra step to make someone one’s day or maybe just make them smile. Because that is something we all can do.
(If you pledge, tweet your act or instagram a picture and @ me so I can see! @_iamemme)