Passionate About the Community
and the Moms Who Live Here

We must act NOW.

From suicide bombings to mass shootings to unexplained shootings, the recent events have us mortified and wondering about the world in which we are raising our children. With little place to hide from the bad news, it’s easy to gravitate towards tuning it out, modifying our Facebook feeds, and staying silent with hopes of keeping these far-away events out of sight and out of mind. This stuff is just way too heavy. How is it possible that one day we are inundated by light hearted news of the latest nonsense that came out of Kanye West’s mouth to now watching the horrendous details unravel for our brothers and sisters in Dallas?

It’s just too much. I feel a heaviness in my heart because this world seems like such a horrible place. What type of world have we brought our children into? I mourn for the simplicity of life that we had in our childhoods that they will never have. I also mourn next to the mothers who have lost their children with each senseless act of violence. Every victim, regardless of occupation, status, or race, was somebody’s child. Think about it. It could be you. It could be your precious baby who was divinely knitted together in your womb {or, someone else’s womb and divinely lead to you}.

We cannot ignore it. Yes, we can think and pray, but thoughts and prayers aren’t enough. As parents, we have a duty to raise a generation of decent, good human beings. If we don’t do something now, I’m afraid that I will have a personal tie to the latest trending story. I do not want to see a loved one reduced to a hashtag.

As our President said this week,

“We are better than this.”

So how do we do better? I mean… I’m barely a functioning adult and parent with all things considered. There’s piles of laundry, meals to plan, pumping schedules to abide to, obligations either at work or with family. The list goes on and on. How could I possibly handle yet another responsibility? I found myself paralyzed with hopelessness last night as I was trying to make sense of the news and figure out what I could do to make a difference, even as a “mom-bie.”

As it’s been said before, and I’ll say it again — we must think big, start small, act fast. It’s such an overwhelming thought knowing that the fate of our future is in our hands and our hearts. It’s with our children {the big picture}, and there’s small things we can start doing today and everyday.

Seek first to understand, not to be right.

I could spit out a ton of statistics. In fact, decades of schooling are screaming at me to cite data and studies that support my argument. But these days, statistics and data are available to support any side of the argument. The truth is that these are matters of the heart, and we cannot come together by using tools of the mind.

Don’t understand why a person who looks different than you doesn’t feel safe? Ask. Don’t understand why someone keeps a gun in their house when they have young kids? Ask. And then listen. And as Pope Francis said recently,

“Who am I to judge?”

We all don’t have to agree, but we must understand where others who are different than us are coming from. We must tolerate and embrace differences. We cannot allow decades of hard work to love one another to fall apart before our eyes. We cannot dismiss those who are different from us and hold strong to our views of the world. If we don’t seek understanding, the differing schools of thought will further diverge, and the thought of that is scary. At this polarizing rate, we don’t need to worry about ISIS as much as we need to worry about ourselves. By seeking to understand, we are setting the example for our children.

We cannot be colorblind.

True, there should be equality and there shouldn’t be a difference. Everyone is a human being, and we should all be treated the same. But that is not the reality.

It doesn’t matter that I am an educated, level-headed woman with children and a corporate job. At face value, I’m just another person of color. Yes, most of the times I’ve had very positive multi-racial interactions in life, at the playground, at work, etc; however, that’s contextual. To the bouncer at the bar, I’m just another Viet who’s going to cause a ruckus and shank somebody {this is real life stereotype and the reason why I was denied patronage at a Houston establishment}. Hannah said it beautifully and reminds us that our differences must be acknowledged in order to foster a future of tolerance and understanding.

Vote.

It’s difficult to understand how your single vote can make a difference. It’s particularly difficult as the fall election nears and you find yourself unable to relate to either major party candidate. But, remember that this fall election isn’t just for President. It’s also for our Legislature {Senate and House}. In our government’s system of checks and balances, the end-all is not with the President. Remember that. It’s also with our legislature who we have the privilege of electing.

I said I won’t use any statistics, but old habits die hard… Did you know that the average Houstonian is 34, but the median age for voters in the past fall election was 68? What?! I’ll leave that there and let you soak on it.

Write to your politicians.

Don’t know who your Representative is? No worries. You can do a search on House of Representatives website or on the “Who Represents Me?” website, and I encourage you to write them about your concerns. I have done this in the past and received a prompt response from my Texas U.S. Representative, and I plan to do it again today.

Appreciate the beauty in front of you.

Okay, now take a breath. Thank the stranger that held the door open for you as you tried to balance your coffee in one hand, purse on one shoulder, squirming toddler on one hip, and screaming baby in the stroller. There’s still beauty in the world. Each bad event is not a fair representation of all the things in our lives. We must keep perspective.

Be the peace that you want to see in the world. Small things make a difference. Say thank you to the cashier at Kroger. Smile at the stranger passing in the street. If your budget allows, buy the next person’s coffee. Be the good example.

I have hope. I have hope for us as parents to be better. I have hope for our children to turn-out to be good people as result of aggregated small, good behaviors they have witnessed from us. Fight the good fight, y’all, and remember, love conquers all.

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