Where were you when you found out about Uvalde?
I was on a soulcation, my first solo vacation. I needed some time to check in with my head and my heart and set some intentions. It was right after some meditation time. I was feeling centered and grateful — for all that I have received, for simply living.
And then I saw those devastating headlines.
Talk about shifting mental gears quickly. Though I was faraway at that moment, my heart was immediately back in Texas. “How did this happen, again, in the state where I live?” I kept asking myself. It was the worst kind of déjà vu. I thought back to writing the introduction to my book “Find Your Fire” as I was finding out about another Texas tragedy: the 2019 mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart.
While my heart as a Texan was breaking, my mind as a public policy professional was churning. I thought about how, after the El Paso shooting, there seemed to be some momentum in our state government to improve gun safety. But then the most recent legislative session actually expanded gun rights. It’s deeply frustrating, because none of this should be about party politics. It should be about solving systemic issues and expressing the will of the people.
Through all of this, though, I felt my spirit as a #Firestarter stirring. We will never rid this world of all gun violence. But we can drive changes that will save countless lives. And each of us can make a difference.
How? Start by taking a few minutes right now for a soul check.
Check your head: Do you have the facts about guns and gun violence in the U.S.? Do you really understand everything that you need to know to make an educated decision as a voter, as a community member, as a parent?
Check your heart. How are you feeling in the aftermath of the Uvalde shooting? Do you empathize with the families? Do you feel scared? Do you want to see change? How is your heart processing the horror of what happened?
Asking yourself questions like these will lead you to your own soulution: How do you want to show up now? What steps do you want to take next?
This is a big conversation — and one that I want to continue with you. But for now, I’ll leave you with some words that I wrote three years ago in “Find Your Fire”:
Tears are running down my face. … The tears flow from my anger that horrific events like these keep happening. And they flow from my frustration that I can’t fix everything overnight.
All those “thoughts and prayers” messages on social media won’t change a thing when it comes to mass shootings. … You know what will, though? #Firestarters like you — running for office, raising money, starting social-minded businesses, lifting their voices.
None of this is easy. But we’ve got to do this, y’all. And do it together. … So are you ready to spark change? Let’s get started!
With Faith & Fortitude,
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