Let Peace Be Our Riot!

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Why do we complicate life?  Why do we make things more than they are? Because we believe that life is more like rocket science and that most of us don’t understand how to do it.  So we make excuses, pawn the responsibility off onto someone else, and pretend that things don’t bother us.

One of the things that I don’t think I will ever understand is how people react to life.  Especially when things don’t go their way.  They throw tantrums like two-year olds because they didn’t get their way.  It is understandable to feel frustrated and angry.  I get that.  But it never needs to escalate to the point to where it gets worse than it was.

I know we are tired of talking about what has happened in Ferguson, Missouri when it has been reported that a policeman shot an 18-year-old young man who was unarmed.  But I am going to use it as an example.

The basic facts are: an unarmed young man was shot and killed by a police officer.  Now, the Grand Jury will not cite the officer for taking this young man’s life.  And many people are upset about this latest decision, so riots and anger erupt.  Damage to personal property, fire, and chaos ensues.

Please understand that I am not going to get into a debate about which side is right and which side is wrong.  I will not discuss the “cards” that people play to heighten their concerns or to describe differences.  My intent is to make people aware of what needs to change.  And although some would disagree, we have the power to change more than we think we do.


Photo credited to ABC News
Photo credited to ABC News


And then what?

Life continues.  Maybe not the way we would like it to, but it does go on.  People will spend so much time trying to point out someone’s mistake, that they forget that life is full of them.  Looking for them really shouldn’t be that hard.  But criticizing others for actions taken in extreme circumstances we have never been in are the easy way to understand.  So what do we so instead, we bring attention to ourselves and our plight, regardless if it is wrong or not.

And what lessons do future generations learn?  When you are mad you throw bricks through windows and set cars on fire.  In some ways, I am not surprised at where we are.

Are there people who do bad things to innocent people?  Unfortunately, all the time.  It sickens me when I hear about people who violate the trust of someone else.  It infuriates me to hear about people using their sense of power to intimidate someone else.  My stomach literally turns into knots when I read about these kinds of actions taken on the anyone.  Believe me, I wish I could stop it.

I know others wish for the same thing.

life without an apology


But we have to let some things be.  We still can feel anger and hurt and disappointed.  But what does that do for us?  How do we benefit?  What is different?  Those feelings will keep us trapped and imprisoned full of hate and create such disregard for humanity as we know it, that it is quite scary.  Eventually, those feelings will subside and we can admit that we all want the same thing…peace.

Want to change something?

Change something BIG?

Don’t look to your neighbor to start this kind of riot…it begins with YOU.  You become the one that says that you don’t want to tell your grandchildren that you are ashamed of your actions that you did or didn’t take.  Stop stirring the pot just to get others riled up.  Be the calming force to quiet the anger and loathing seeping from your fellow-man.  Nothing changes if we don’t change.

We have to do something.  We are just hurting ourselves more and more.  In today’s age, we are hounded with stories of tragedy, wrong-doing, and complete accidents.  That is why the stories of goodness, hope, and love make us feel the way we do.  We are all the same in that regard.  No matter where we live, what language we speak, or our level of education.

Ultimately, life is simple.  We look for answers that will never heal the ache we feel in our hearts, and creating havoc doesn’t do it either.  It doesn’t even come close.  When we hurt, we just want someone else to feel hurt too.  But is that what being human is really about?

Life isn’t fair.  For ALL of us.  I wish I could right every wrongdoing, but the last time I checked, I am not capable of such a task.  I wish no one would on this planet would ever be without the basic necessities of life, that they could feel free to get an education without prosecution, and to feel safe and belong.  You don’t see me destroying things — you see me and others like me building something instead.

John Lennon

So, let’s make a vow…a promise to riot.

To riot for change.  To riot for equality.  To riot for acceptance.  To riot for forgiveness.  To riot for giving.  To riot for compassion.  To riot for humbleness.  To riot for caring.  To riot for hope.  To riot for purpose.  To riot for peace…

Michelle A. Homme 2014 ©



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