Beyond Tucson | The BridgeMaker

Beyond Tucson

By on Jan 15, 2011

One week later, the healing begins.

I have never lost someone to a tragedy like this so I can’t possibly imagine what it feels like. Empathy, love and hope is the best I can offer. However, I do know this: the lives of the people affected by the events on January 8 will be changed forever. My prayer is the rest of us will be changed, too.

What happened in that shopping center wasn’t about political intolerance; it’s about the gift of Free Will we have been given.

Free Will is responsible for both the goodness and the grief we see in the world. The shooter exercised his Free Will on that day and the people who stopped him exercised theirs.

Perhaps the best way we can honor the dead is to commit to using our Free Will to stop the bitterness; the selfishness and the mean-spirited tone that seems to be growing louder.

This commitment won’t bring back the dead, but it can serve as a line in the sand where we can raise our voices and hearts and shout, “No more.”

It’s time we take care of each other as if we are all brothers and sisters; it’s time we learn how to disagree without hatred being injected into the conversation; it’s time to say , “Yes” to kindness everyday no matter how frustrated or tired we feel.

Free Will gives us the power to make new choices every day.

As our thoughts and attention begin to move beyond Tucson, let’s use the memory to remember to choose more wisely.

The BridgeMaker Founder Alex Blackwell is the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender. Join the community to connect, share and inspire: Twitter | Facebook | More Posts

  • Alex – I’m sharing a touch of everyone’s comment so far. Everyone hit marks that I would have made if I were first to comment. We’re all brothers and sisters – at some point, I hope that others feel the same way.

  • It’s horrible what happened.I just send my condolences to those who need our prayer. Very tragic and very sad.

  • Paul

    there is only one of us here as we all are connected whether we want to admit it or not and now it is even more imperative that we choose to respond with love instead of react with fear and hate and prejudice.

  • We can’t stop awful things happening but we can stand truer against such things. What world would we live in if such tragic events didn’t pull us together more? I’m not from Tuscan but I am today – I feel their pain and sadness. I send them love to say ‘you’re not alone’ and that we aren’t judging you. Only vowing to make the world a better place like those who were lost. Together we are better and more caring. One big love in action. Great empathy in your post Alex, you have a wide heart my friend.