When this week began, I felt so happy because of two back-to-back days that celebrate Intl. Children’s Day and Intl. Peace Day. I’ve been helping with a project here in Huntington Beach the last two years to promote compassion www.CompassionateHB.com. The highlight of our year are ten days in September – from the 11 to the 21st – in which each of the participating cities tally up our total number of compassionate deeds to determine who wins.
Although these ten days start on a bad day in our country’s history of 9/11, this 10-day challenge ends on International Peace Day. I couldn’t have been feeling happier because I was glad to have these days to commemorate two wonderful causes that promote peace internationally. Feeling great…. until the evening news wiped my happiness away with the latest tragedy involving a child.
After 83 days of investigators delving into evidence following the discovery of a tiny, decaying body on the coast in Boston, her identify was finally revealed. During the investigation, they have referred to her as ‘Baby Doe’; at the conclusion of their investigation, her name was revealed. She was ‘Baby Bella’…. an precious 2 ½ yr-old girl with a cherub-like face who had been hideously murdered and left in a bag on a beach.
What compounded my anger about this little child’s death was the foolish reason the accused murderer, Bella’s mother’s boyfriend, used to rationalize his choice to murder Bella: He thought she was *possessed* and, therefore, thought it was ‘her time to die!’ For the full story, go to: http://nbcnews.to/1XIeZd2 What a horribly rationalized way for a killer to think!
For me, as the news junkie that I am, this is yet another heartbreaking example of a story that talks about the event, but not the choice that caused the external event. While some may simply say words like ‘Oh, how Sad!’, I gravitate to stories like this because of my work to prevent them before they happen to someone else … worst case possible scenario, to someone you know!
Imagine for a second: What if this happened to a young child about Bella’s age that you know? Hearing about Bella’s tragic death reminds me of a precious little five-yr-old girl here in Southern California, Samantha Runnion, who was kidnapped and murdered over 10 years ago.
For whatever reason her murderer did what he did, what Samantha’s parents had to cope with should not be becoming the norm, but it is… More and more children are continually murdered every year. for example, the terrorist’s attacks around our world. But, what can we good people do about this?
While many good, busy, hard-working people read about horrific events – what I call Personal 9/11’s for the families of the murdered children – and, then, flip channels or turn the TV off, I delve into the situation and feel remotely connected to the mother, most of all, of anyone killed accidentally or intentionally.
Why do I care about the families of these victims who would, otherwise, be strangers to me? Because after a personal tragedy happened to me many years ago, I developed a desire to help prevent tragedies like this that are caused by selfish choices….whether it is Baby Bella or Samantha Runnion, whose mother, Erin Runnion, now works tirelessly through her foundation to educate young children on how to be aware and fight off potential abductors or anyone murdered!
What’s the good, the bad, and the ugly of this effort? First, the Good! The easy-to-use process that I refer to as my ‘intellectual baby’ can honestly prevent tragedies like these. Next, the bad one: It will only prevent tragedies if we each do our part by using it. And last, the ‘ugly’ element: if we don’t make the effort to unite mentally, we’ll, in essence, be what Zig Ziegler called ‘silent contributors to the continuation of wrongdoings.” How could you or I or anyone be a silent contributor to the continuation of crimes?
First, a quick explanation what I mean by that comment: In 1998, while I was attending Peter Lowes Success Summit, I heard Zig Ziegler describe an unusual way to look at being aware of what the right thing to do is, but not doing ‘it. What he said was: “When you are aware of a wrongdoing and do either nothing…or not as much as you can, you become a silent partner of its continuation.”
Zig’s comment has stuck with me for all these years. It propelled me to ‘do as much as I can’ by using my business process improvement skills to develop a simple way to make respectful choices that, when use, can prevent abuse and violence. One of my challenges is inspiring people to we each need to do our to not only make wise choices ourselves, but also care about others in our lives by supporting them to make wise choices vs not. For example, on the day after the tragedy at Virginia Tech, Professor Ed Falco answered CNN’s question: “Did you have annnny awareness that the shooter might do any harm?”, he replied: “Yeah, we all noticed he was increasingly quiet and didn’t do anything to help him.”
Out of gratitude that, hopefully, no tragedy has ever happened to you or your loved ones, please check out the work I am doing to raise awareness of our choices, then join us to do your part or, as I say, ‘contribute your piece to creating peace’ in the diversified portion a.k.a. community in which you live.
A big-hearted thanks to those of you who are working with us. Wouldn’t you agree that by modifying only the last word in the ten most powerful two-letter words, ‘If It Is To Be, It Is Up To ME’ to ‘If It Is To Be, It Is Up To We’ or, if spoken grammatically correct: ‘If It Is To Be, It Is Up To US’, we can be united mentally by this while continuing our own lives physically?
Given all the harm done by united efforts to harm others e.g. ISIS, gangs, let’s show others around us what good people being united mentally can do to make our world a safer place for all of us. Please join us to do your part to keep our communities safe for all to enjoy them. For details, visit www.ThinkOfAll.com