"What happened in Paris, Mommy? Why do they keep using the word "terrorist" on TV?"
I didn't want to explain a terrorist to my inquisitive 10-year old. I don't know how to, and I desperately wish that we lived in a world where that conversation never needed to happen. But, she's heard the word, and she wants her mother to explain why these horrific events happened to innocent people. "How could someone do that, Mommy?"
I have no good explanation, though in her presence, I tried to seem brave and knowledgeable, so that perhaps the immensity of it all would not overshadow her. "Fear is what they want to evoke," I told her. "It's hard not to be scared. We will mourn, and we will pray, and we will do our best to be peaceful people in our corner of the world. And when we recognize the fear coming up, we will feel it, and find the good. Because good always prevails, always. I am sure of that. And God will strengthen us when we feel helpless and alone. He gave us each other."
In an effort to inform and explain, the media covers images and retells stories of threats, attacks, violence, war, and tragedy. All relevant information, all needing to be shared, all compounding for a bleak look at the state of the world.
And despite all that - no, maybe in the face of all that - I see the world that is overflowing with goodness. The poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins said it like this, "The world is charged with the grandeur of God."
It is in the kindnesses that individuals extend to one another, the grand sweeping gestures that impact thousands, and the hopeful discoveries that lead us to believe in a different future. All of these are also happening every day, and in every place. And these acts of goodness need to be shared.
In our very small corner of the world, we're trying to add more goodness to the world. In the shop, a portion of the profits of every "Do Good" product (children's tees, women's tees, and letterpress print) go to help hospitalized children and families through The Sweet Pea Foundation.
And I know that you all are doing this kind of thing in your lives, too!! You're finding ways to stay open to joy, to reach out to those on the margins, and to give to those in need. And we need to share that your good work with the world, lest we all be overcome by the sad news around us and misled to believe that the tragic is all there is.
In honor of Giving Tuesday, this day designated to give to the non-profit of your choosing, we will be sharing goodness every Tuesday over on Facebook (you have to see some of the amazing stories happening there today!!). Let's make every Tuesday one for giving. Tag any of your stories or photos on Twitter or IG with the #goodnesstrending hashtag, and we'll share them on Tuesdays. I challenge you to share these stories with your children and your spouses and your parents and neighbors. Let's remember that goodness is trending. Goodness prevails.
Perhaps if we can focus on the goodness before us, and share that joy with each other, we might dissipate the darkness, while giving one another a safe hand to hold into the future.
What's something hopeful, something good, happening for you?