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A couple of months back, I was having a particularly rough day when a friend of mine offered to give me a free massage. At first I couldn’t accept. This is her livelihood and well aware of all the financial pressure she’s under, I politely declined. Then she turned to me, big smile, and said, “Hey, don’t worry about it. We’re all in this together sister!”

We need more people like her in this world. Especially in light of Friday’s atrocity in Connecticut.

I, like you, have heard the outcries in the news and social media, and in speaking with loved ones. Our lives have once again been collectively shaken at a very deep level. And it’s all very apparent — Something must change.

I hear many people saying they don’t know if things CAN change. That perhaps this is too big of a problem to address. That things are out of hand with no hope of reeling it back in. But I beg to differ. Each one of us can do something.

I, for one, can no longer allow these tragic events to transpire without instituting real change in my own life. I feel we must all look deep within our selves, our hearts, and ask how we can help this broken world. It begins with US. We must push our politicians to institute change, of course, but we cannot wait for them. We must start HERE. We must start NOW.

Look around you. Who in your life needs help? Who around you is being neglected? Who is displaying concerning signs? Who do you know is suffering in silence but afraid to reach out for help?

We must come together as a people. Love one another. Accept one another. If we ever expect to have peace on earth.

No man is an island. It takes a village. We hear these phrases growing up but as we go about our daily lives, often absorbed in our own little worlds, we forget. That we’re all connected. Many may feel insignificant, like our efforts won’t make a difference, but I’m here to tell you they will. What we do on a daily basis does affect the whole.

So let’s not allow these innocent souls to die in vain. Let this event penetrate each one of us to the extent that we demand a change. And if I could ask for one thing, it would be that we all come together. Instead of pointing fingers, we listen and accept. Accept we’re all individuals with varying opinions and acknowledge that further divisiveness will only distance us from the real issue at hand and cause more harm than good.

Compassion, love, empathy, and acceptance should be the words of the day. The first step toward finding a resolution is understanding that this is a multifaceted problem whose roots run deep. There’s bound to be another perpetrator like this out there and the sooner we come together, the better off we’ll all be.

The state of our society may not be resolved over night, but what can change over night, in an instant, is the state within each of us. And after all, we ARE society. We ARE the people. One people. So let’s each look within ourselves. Our hearts. And be honest. About what it is WE feel called to do. To change in our own lives. For the better.

It doesn’t matter how large or small the action is, what’s important is we do something.

Sign petitions.

Write your Senator.

Smile at a stranger.

Volunteer at an organization that calls your name.

Mentor a troubled youth.

Come together.

Repair a broken relationship.

Commit 26 acts of kindness in remembrance.

Promote acceptance.

Hug your children a little deeper.

Say “I love you”, and mean it.

Believe in the goodness of humanity.

Believe that there is an answer.

The options are endless. As Gandhi said: Be the change you wish to see in the world. So what’ll it be? What action will you take today to bring more goodness and light to this world?

Photo courtesy of Karin Dalziel