It's taken me a few days to collect my thoughts. There's been a lot of time spent reading, a lot of tears, and a lot of time trying to make sense out of something I'm now resigned to believe I will never understand.
I look at my beautiful children during the carefree days of summer, playing with their friends, including everyone in their camp games. There are no limitations with regard to skin color, gender, religion or status. They just play. Whether they're splashing in the community pool, building castles in the sand, singing songs or cheering for one another during organized games. I well up just thinking about it - the simplicity of it all. I long for it to be that way for all of us.
But alas, I'm smarter than that. I know nothing is going to change unless we all - every single one of us - acts on it. I have marched in the streets of NYC with my children, and I'm sure I will again. I donate to causes that focus on humanity. I give my time to my children's schools. I work to make sure my kids know what all of this means, why we are so passionate about being kind, respectful and considerate toward humanity. Why there is no place for hate toward others in our home and throughout our community. How they need to know that when we witness it, we will not ignore it, we will address it. I want them to know that at the end of the day, in this great big world, with all the people in it, we are all essentially related. That's the easiest way for me to explain it to them. We don't have to be related by blood to have something in common with everyone.
The last few days I've been having my little guy point out similarities among his friends and people we don't know. He says things like "we're both boys" or "so and so has brown hair like I do" or "our moms are friends." I'm trying to teach them that at the end of the day, we can find something familiar in one another. A grand idea? Perhaps. But one I will try to foster none the less. It seems so simple, find a common ground, a similarity in our fellow human beings. Oh wait, here's one - WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEINGS. That alone should be enough to get us through. That alone should cause us pause. That alone should create a bond.
I don't have any of the answers, but do I have a long list of things I would like to see change. So tonight, as I listen to my children laughing and playing games on our back porch with their grandma, I will commit to continuing to educate them and talk out loud about doing the right thing, no matter the consequences. I will make sure we are showing compassion and consideration to people we don't even know without expecting something in return. I will find a similarity in everyone I meet, because at the end of the day we are all the same. We are all human beings.