The events over the past week have not only troubled me, but the entire country. I have been wanting to sit down and write this all week, but the words would not come.
At the end of this past week I was involved in an incident that was quite unique to my life. I saw something wrong happening, and my instinct immediately was to call 911. It was not even registering at the time that I was probably inches away from loosing my own life. I was in the middle of gun fire and all I thought about were the young children I spoke to in Newark, NJ earlier in the year. They had written letters to my father and I about how they were so excited to meet him since he was a "survivor". They felt as if they were surviving each day. They were fearful that if they went to the corner store for milk, they may not come back. "People are getting shot right outside our house" one student wrote to us. OMG- this was 20 minutes away from where I grew up! This could not happen HERE! But there I was on Friday afternoon right in the middle of what these students live with each day, I could not stay silent. And even after the detective called me at 1:45am to question what I saw (apparently they were involved in an active investigation and I could have had some information that they needed) I still knew I would not have changed a thing I did. Not one other person called that day 911, and I was not the only one that witnessed it for sure!
Some of my friends and family were afraid for me to get too involved. "Stay out of it" "Mind your own business" - I couldn't, I can't. We each need to take stand against violence, against hatred, against bigotry, against racism, against anti-Semitism. For me, I hope to never have to live through something like that again. I pray that the children I have met and those that live with violence each day can somehow find the rainbow of sunshine beyond that and find hope and peace.
I have watched, I have read, I have listened to so many over the last few days. And amongst all the ugliness and hate what I have seen are people coming together in love and peace, all over. I have never believed that violence is the answer. Whenever I speak to groups of people, whether they are children or adults, I always end my speech with this message:
"There will always be hate and intolerance. The only thing we can do is to continue to speak up and make sure our voices are louder than theirs."