Sam Chat: Leading with Kindness – Thoughts on #PrayforVegas
Please know that the following are thoughts on the recent Las Vegas shooting. If you feel you might be affected in a way that compromises your emotional health from reading this post, this is a heads up. Although I do share how I will be spreading more kindness and encouragement to try to make a difference in this world at the end of the post 🙂
I’m not going to lie to you, my head has been completely clouded ever since the shooting in Vegas happened. All kinds of emotions have been diluting my thoughts; fear, gratitude, anxiety, anger. For days I felt like I couldn’t interact on Instagram like I usually do because things were jolted into a different perspective. When you come SO close to losing people dear to you, you feel a little shift. And today I wanted to weigh in on that shift.
Our world has been rapidly changing and it seems like there are more forces of evil since the time I was a child. Maybe that’s not true, but the older I get the less safe I feel. I can’t say that I will ever know what it’s like to have bullets grazing past my body, to have lives taken right in front of me, to hear that horrible sound of an automatic weapon silencing everything around, to hear sheer panic from human beings trying to enjoy life. But I do know that my heart sank when I got news of this massacre. I know that I’ve felt scared just going into to any public area or facility since then. I know that I look for ways out now wherever I am. And I know that while that might be necessary in today’s world, we can do our part to spread more kindness.
A roller coaster of emotions
It was a roller coaster of emotions that night. I felt panic trying to get in touch with friends at the festival. I was about to burst at the seams trying to find out if they’re okay, angry that something like this could happen again. I felt such sadness as I learned the name and face of every person that died. Tears formed as I thought of how every person there was just celebrating life, dancing with their people, unaware of the horror that would come. I felt so angry that my friends had to go through that fear, that awful unknown. I also felt overwhelming relief when I found out my friends were okay and unharmed. I said a prayer, SO incredibly thankful. My life and my friend’s lives could have been completely changed if that moment had been any different. And while it hasn’t changed in any physical way, I can say that my outlook has changed.
While I feel such anger that this happened to innocent people, I feel more determined than ever to spread light, love, hope, and faith in humanity. Now more than ever we need to have faith that there are good people in this world and let that light shine on the good so it can dilute the bad. This doesn’t mean we turn a blind eye to the bad people and the awful things they do, but as Gandhi said, “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
I don’t know about you, but as an individual I’ve often felt helpless. A small fish in a big world. We can try to change laws, we can try to be precautious about environments that we’re in, but ultimately we can’t predict what will happen. What we can do, is be mindful…
A kindness campaign: #constantkindness
It is our responsibility to have faith in humanity and put the kindness and unity back into our people. We can encourage each other, collaborate with one another, stop pitting people against one another, lift each other up, and make a point to be kind to people—our friends and strangers alike. This week on my Instagram, I’m starting a #constantkindness campaign to try to put some faith back into humanity, a challenge for us to be kind and selfless. Every week I’ll be sharing something encouraging or motivating to my followers while also trying to give back, spread some love, and encourage others to do the same.
Today I challenge you to find ways to lift others up and put a smile on their face even if it’s in the smallest of ways. Buy a stranger a cup of coffee, let people over on the freeway (we all know how bad LA traffic is) encourage someone who is trying to grow their business or go after their dreams, write a friend a sweet letter, do a chore you know a friend or family member is dreading, etc. there are SO many ways!
In a world where we might feel less safe, we can still try to be more kind. Where there is hatred, there is always love so let’s shine a light on that. The news and media love to show all the bad things that go on, but I’m confident we can share the good within our social media communities! Share your acts of kindness on Instagram with the hashtag #constantkindness and tag me @theconstantcreative and I’d love to re-post you guys!
P.S. shop more inspirational cards and drop someone a note of encouragement via my Etsy shop here.