Life Matters. Change Matters.

This world is heavy right now. I feel it is heavier now than usual, or maybe my heart is starting to carry the extra heavy. This weekend I sat surrounded by my family, some I haven’t seen in a very long time. Our Connor Family reunion was this weekend, as it has been for as long as I can remember- 3rd Saturday of July. Back in the day we gathered at my grandparent’s house, right on the corner in the village. My mom is 1 of 15 kids that were handpicked by The Big Guy to be a part of the Connor Clan, yes I really mean 15. Once a year, historically, my family would gather and play together, eat together, laugh together and be right there on the corner that the 15 grew up on. Obviously some years all 15 couldn’t make it, and that is very true today. It has always been a highlight of my year, waiting for mini golf with Uncle Joe and the long summer visit from Aunt Cecelia, Aunt Mary K’s cheesecake, Aunt Kathie Waite’s Annual Tea Party… it was and is a best.weekend.ever. This year we missed some but it was a grand weekend, a tradition I am supremely grateful for. My big Irish (with a little bit of French) family is chock full of police… I mean really full of them. I had to be VERY careful growing up because I knew Uncle Sean or Tim or Peter or… or… or would find out. It is no different now, in those ranks I have cousins and my own brother who took an oath to be the one that runs into chaos to help. While we all run out of chaos and try to get away… those brave ones run in and protect us. If you knew them and sat around a fire and saw them parent their children (of MANY different nationalities) you would see the compassion and love they have to create a world that is safe and full of family reunions and simple adventures. If you could see my brother when his daughter is hurt, you would see the heart of a police officer. It looks a lot like all of ours…

Yesterday I ate and laughed and played and hugged my cousins, uncles, aunts and more who have spent or are spending their time protecting and serving many communities. They are keeping drunk drivers from the roads- thank you. They are responding to domestic disturbances and keeping families safe. They are responding to babies who stopped breathing, to teens who died in car accidents and delivering the news to those parents. They are standing in doorways telling parents that their children are no longer here and knowing how dangerous this world is for their own children. There are some, I am sure, who are not as brave or real or compassionate… but then again there are priests who take advantage of their positions, there are record producers who intimidate and abuse their clients… there are relatives and adults who harm perfect children out of selfishness and… maybe evil. I don’t know. I am sure there are police that are not in it for the same reason, to create a safe place for their children and mine to grow and journey and become…

I also see a world full of media that WANTS to build walls and draw lines and start wars… maybe just for ratings. It seriously doesn’t matter if you love CNN or FOX or MSN or whatever they build stories they want us to see. In a world where amazing and special happen all.of.the.time… they choose to show only controversial and heavy and pile onto people their idea of whatever they want to show (propaganda).

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I don’t give allegiance to ANY movement that breeds violence, but the media LOVES it. I don’t give allegiance to any group that wants to instill hate to create more anger toward a side. There is no side. Instead of talking to a group, ask each and every individual everywhere what they want for the world… what they want for the future… what they want for their children. The answers to these questions show there are no freakin’ sides. We all want the same for our world, our children and our futures. We want our children to grow in a world that is safe and to feel loved. We want a future with a good leader and better relationships in our own countries and with others. We all want a future that is safe for us to get to live life the way it should be- in our own communities with all of our differences. Not one person would say- I want a world of chaos, of crime, of bad leadership, of fear… screw fear.

Sitting with my sister in law the other night, we were talking about some of the rallies locally. She had been invited, but my brother said he feels that a rally to show All Lives Matter would be taken as a target. That people could understand ‘All lives matter’ as Black Lives don’t’ Matter… so he asked her not to go with their children. My heart hurt to hear this, not because my brother is a crazy controlling husband at all, but because he feels his family would not be safe practicing their rights. He feels that people who choose violence over peaceful protesting or rallying creates a place of potential unrest. This huge upset of violence is instilling fear in people… all people. Fear breeds more fear, it breeds more violence. Fear will build a bigger wall and a bigger line and create sides where there should be none. We all want the same things… in the past 2 weeks some moms and dads got delivered the news that their child was gone. I know how much this hurts. I know any police officer I know does not wish this pain on those parents. Many children woke up last week and this morning to the news that their dad or mom was gone. They went to bed wanting the same things as we all do- and woke up without their person. Families were broken last week and this week and my heart hurts for them.

I was not there for those police incidents in Baton Rouge and Missouri. I am not the judge or jury to what happened fully. I do not know how I would have reacted in the situations, but I do know that if I had reacted and a person was dead it would have had nothing to do with race. I hope that these police officers acted the best they knew how in those moments with the clues and movements they saw in that situation. I also know that if they did not act correctly they should be held accountable. We should all be accountable for our actions good and bad. There is no side in that.

I think back to the 60’s and 70’s and see what changed things then… we learn about Martin Luther King Jr and I wish he were here to show us the way (and that Abe Lincoln would come back and run for president). I also know he left us his knowledge and story and work for this very time in our world. We need to look to the ones who did this, who conquered chaos and worked for peace. Violence and chaos will bring violence and chaos- hate breeds hate… Martin Luther King Jr stood at podiums and spoke and led people to not be scared. He stood in front of people when they could have hurt him and eventually they did. His words and ways are a gift in this time… we need to listen and remember. We all want the same things… this is true in our country and others. We need not to live in fear, but to work together, respecting each other until we have shown that we shouldn’t be respected. We are accountable for our own selves. Our character says so much about each of us… how we react to hard situations and hurt show big pieces of our character. Be respectful. Show love. Choose compassion. Let go of anger. Respond with good character… remember we are all made to be just how we were made. We look different, share differently, celebrate differently and see differently, but different is exactly the way we were made.

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