I’m sitting here trying to write my book and all I can think about are the children who died in Nice a few days ago. I keep reading their stories. And then I think of the 292 people who died in Baghdad recently, of whom at least 25 were children. I think of the children all around the world, getting killed by drones and trucks and bombs and guns.
It is unbearable.
I think of how scared people are. They just want to protect their kids—who doesn’t?—but people are using that fear to push intolerance and hatred. They smear that ugliness all over social media and insert it into their political rhetoric.
“We must save our children!” the fearful cry.
“Let us save your children!” the politicians and fundamentalists and millionaires shout. “Let us deport the Other! Let us keep you armed! Let us bomb and punish; let us teach you all the ways to hate.”
And somewhere, everywhere, children just want to be safe and loved and alive.
When the sadness washes over me, when it feels toxic and impossible to bear, I want to go into a forest and never come out. But, instead, I am going to make myself stand up and speak out, as best I can, without being swallowed by the dark.
Let us protect our children by teaching them love. Let us keep teaching them compassion and living compassionately—every single day treating others as you would want to be treated. Let us keep calling out for kindness and non-violence. Let us never stop seeing the ones who need protecting, and standing with them. Let us walk and walk and walk and walk, and walk and walk in kindness.