What a sad day, Friend. The bombing in Brussels has not only created new wounds in our broken world, but also opened old ones. No doubt you could tell me, in exquisite detail, exactly where you were on Sept. 11, 2001. Many mark that day as the beginning of terrorism as we now know it, but having grown up as a military dependent, I politely disagree. I’ve seen terror unfold directly in front of me, and it started long before 2001.
My home room teacher was named Mrs. Sharer, and her husband was one of those held captive in the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979. Yes–witnessing her grief and struggle still impact me in many ways, and I’ve written about that time in our lives here.
Since that time, I’ve quietly examined some ways we can make a difference now, to stop the power of terrorism. My conclusion is this: we need to control how we personally respond to these horrific acts. We need to stop giving the terrorists the attention they crave. By virtually witnessing these mass killings through the constant media coverage afterwards, we are drawn in to events thousands of miles away from us. Our daily lives are affected by people we will never meet, in countries we will never visit. We absorb the fear of victims who have nothing to do with us personally, which is one of the terrorist’s biggest tools. They suck as all in with the power of a ‘maybe’. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be affected. The slaughter of innocents for exposure is an act against all that is decent. We have to find a personal balance though, which will allow us to be aware, without causing us to lose perspective.
Today’s events interrupted my normal writing schedule, and I thought it important to spread some good, actionable steps you can take today, instead of being overwhelmed by the horror. More new pieces are coming soon, I promise. But right now?…
I encourage you to read this older post about terror, in response to today’s bombing.
Then get outside, for some fresh air and sunshine. Offer prayers or good thoughts for those directly affected. Hug someone you love, or be friendly to that person you regularly see, but don’t really know.
We have more power of this sort of thing than we realize, Friend. It starts with us, and how we choose to respond.
Choose carefully, please.
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**Chanler Jeffers has seen many extraordinary things over her lifetime. An adventurer, survivor, overachiever and advocate of kindness in all instances, she has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), and is a member of their Circle of Champions. She has had the good fortune to live and travel all over the world, grew up as a military dependent and was a single parent for many years. She has survived cancer, and gently shaped countless people over her years on this little planet we call home. Follow along as she shares her knowledge, her experience and her love. Oh, by the way–one more thing. She’s married to a Bass playing rock star, lucky girl.