vi·o·lence, noun

Definition:  behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.
 
It is brutal.  It is ferocious and destructive. 
 
It can be delivered with powerful force and fury or quiet cruelty.  Either way, it puts us in the direct line of pain and suffering. It drags us through the most potent of emotions and leaves us struggling to breathe.  We close our eyes with the hope that when we open them it will be an illusion – gone. 
 
We cannot hide from the violence.  Nor can we run from it.
 
What we can do is refuse to give into the insanity of it all – the hate, the despair, the loneliness.  We can reclaim our humanity.
 
Nature has hit our fellow Americans with several mighty blows.  Guns have taken innocence and replaced it with fear.  Ignorance has replaced reason and dignity.
 
And I am ANGRY!  But…unless I put the anger to use, it just adds to the destruction.  How do I respond to the needs pulling me from all directions?  What do I do first?  What is meaningful?  How do I stop my stomach from churning?
 
Each of us needs to respond to what is most urgent and personal to us.  Just know it is important to do something.  Hug your child. Reach out to a friend.  Tell someone you love them. Find that issue that tugs at your heart over and over again. Get involved. 
 
What comes first is what life lays in front of us – what we may have silently invited.  If we take the step to understand what we feel and what is needed, then we will know where to start.
 
It isn’t easy...because anger keeps trying to win out over our humanity.