Category Archives: news-commentary

The remedy

A few weeks ago, I decided to check out the new Zac Brown Band album online. One song on the album made me hit repeat. Then repeat again. Then repeat again. Then go buy the album just so I could have this song with me absolutely any time and anywhere I go.

“Remedy”
(Zac Brown, Wyatt Durrette, Niko Moon, Kevin R Moore)

I’ve been looking for a sound
That makes my heart sing
Been looking for a melody
That makes the church bells ring
Not looking for the fame
Or the fortune it might bring
In love, in music, in life

Jesus preached the golden rule
Buddha taught it too
Gandhi said eye for an eye
Makes the whole world go blind
With a little understanding
We can break these chains that we’ve been handed
I’ve got the medication
Love is the remedy

Pray to be stronger and wiser
Know you get what you give
Love one another
Amen, amen

I’ve been thinking about the mark
That I’ll be leaving
Been looking for a truth
I can believe in
I got everything I need
Let this heart be my guide
In love, in music, in life

I’m not saying I’m a wise man
Heaven knows there’s much that I’m still finding
Making my way down this winding road
Holding on to what I love
Yeah, and leaving the rest behind
For love, for music, for life

Pray to be stronger and wiser
Know you get what you give
Love one another

We’re all in this world together
Life’s a gift that we have to treasure
Happiness, now that is the measure
Love is the remedy

Everyone can be forgiven
One love and one religion
Open up your heart and listen
Love is the remedy

Pray to be stronger and wiser
And know you get what you give
God is love one another
Amen, amen, amen

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Image created using Photofy App

This last week I’ve purposely kept quiet about all the many social issues going on, and I will continue to do so here. Why? Because I don’t feel like I need to input any opinion on something I don’t feel knowledgeable enough about to back up said opinion in a social realm. So, I do the whole, “Better to keep quiet and thought an idiot than to open your mouth and prove it.”

Here’s what I DO know, though. I know that my heart has ached a lot this week, because on every single side of every single issue I’ve seen intolerance and anger. I’ve quietly felt attacked reading other’s words, even when I’ve agreed with them.  I’ve quietly felt bullied in a world of, “Either you agree with me or are against me!” even when I’ve agreed silently.

Frankly, as we fight a world of hate, we’ve come to fight it with hate. And that’s most certainly NOT the answer.

I said from the beginning of the year that my motto for 2015 is, “So much love.” Love makes me happy. Love makes the world a better place. LOVE IS THE REMEDY.

God knows I can be cynical and quite snarky at times. I live in Nashville and have ties into the music industry. Consider cynacism and snark a negative side effect of this life. But I challenge everyone this weekend to step back. Hold that snark back for a second. And choose love instead. God said to love your enemies. You don’t have to love what someone does. You don’t have to love what someone says. You don’t even have to love what they stand for. But take a moment and realize everyone deserves love. And God knows that right now we need love in general more than ever.

Dear friends, let us love one another,
for love comes from God.
Everyone who loves
has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7 NIV

#WomensLives :: Unifying voices through #TellYourStory

If there is one thing you should know about me and social media, its that I place Twitter at the top of my list of must-use social media tools. Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook and spend way too many hours a day on it, but its Twitter that I turn to most for day-to-day information. It’s helped me get through traffic back-ups, severe weather and lets me feel not-so-far-away when something happens back home in Texas.

So needless to say, when the headline, “In Turkey, sometimes it takes a hashtag to be heard” came across PRI’s Across Women’s Lives, it jumped out at me. It talks about the  Twitter campaign #sendeanlat — or #tellyourstory — started in Turkey for women to tell their own personal stories about experiencing violence, or in many cases their attempts to avoid the violence.

It came on the heels of 20-year-old Özgecan Aslan being raped and stabbed to death by the driver of her bus. She was on her way home from college to visit her parents in southern Turkey when her life was cut short. According to women’s rights activists in Turkey, the tragedy was just one story of women being harassed, raped, beaten and killed with little-to-no consequences for their attackers.

Through the #sendeanlat / #tellyourstory hashtag, the stories of women going out of their way to avoid violence are just as staggering as the harassment they experience despite their best efforts. Through the hashtag(s), there is a wonderful strength in numbers, and I hope authorities are listening.

Three that jumped out at me, one from the article, two  I found reading the hashtag feed myself:

 

Why did these jump out at me? Because they all read like something I would do/have done. Right here in America. Because even if the law is far more strict regarding rape, murder and other violent acts, it doesn’t mean women here don’t still feel the need to be proactive against potential violence.

I used to keep an empty can of husband’s chew on the dashboard of my truck at all times. I’m not entirely sure when I quit doing that. But my hope was it would keep the truck from looking like a woman drove it. I’d often keep a baseball cap in my truck. When I drove home from going out late at night, I’d often throw it on so that perhaps my silhouette would look a little less feminine. I doubled that focus after a Central Texas woman was run off a rural road, kidnapped, raped and beaten in 2006.

When my husband goes on the road, I go out of my way to try to hide the fact he’s not home. I’m careful to keep certain things about my day the same, whether he’s home or not. I refuse to go to the grocery store at night alone. When I was bartending, I loved that most of our regulars refused to let us bartenders walk to our cars alone after closing.

Meanwhile, a tweet like this also stood out to me:

Not long ago, I had someone who left me feeling endlessly uncomfortable. Someone who left me literally sobbing my heart out driving home a few times, because he was so oblivious to how he kept “crossing the line” with me. It got to where I wanted to dress up to go out with my husband, but I’d find myself dressing way down just to avoid comments from this person about how I looked. I almost threw out my favorite pair of boots, because he felt it okay to make leering comments about them.

That’s not okay! That’s NEVER okay! Not here, not in Turkey, not in any country. And perhaps if we can all step up and tell or stories, we can empower each other and open other’s eyes.

Won’t you join in… Please. #sendeanlat … #TellYourStory

#womenslives#WomensLives is a media partnership between Public Radio International (PRI) and SheKnows Media, BlogHer‘s parent company, aiming to change the portrayal and coverage of women in media. I felt our standing up for ourselves fell right in line with this initiative. 

In Turkey, sometimes it takes a hashtag to be heard

 

Twisters

Growing up in Texas, we had tornado drills just as often as fire drills. If I remember right, it was three short bursts of the bell and we lined up, went into the hallway, and ducked against the walls covering our heads.

Being one of the tallest kids in class, I mostly remember it being a pain in the butt trying to crouch down as tight and low as my classmates. I don’t think it ever really set in with me the importance of those drills either… Because we had gotten lucky for years. My little hometown missing the bullet.

I remember many nervous nights at home, though, listening to the wind howl, watching the weather, lighting hurricane lamps. Even then, we we’re lucky. Time and time again, the tornados missing us.

Fall 1996, our first football game of the year, storms billowed and churned. We warmed up in the band hall, when someone broke in and told us to take cover. We huddled up again the only brick wall in that building. I remember holding hands and praying with my friends for safety and protection from the danger. I remember how eerie it was hours later, after the game was postponed and we all went home safe, that the skies parted and we ended up with the most brilliant sunset. We once again got lucky.

No one knew, though, that about 8 months later another small town would not fare so well. May 1997, 20 tornados touched down within less than two hours of my home. One was an EF-5 tornado that hit the town of Jarrell, Texas, killing 27 people — 11 of which were teens like me… 6 of those had been on the football team. I remember crying for the loss of those lives. It hit so very close to home.

There is no asking, “Why?” There is only, “How can I help?”

When I moved to Nashville, it seemed “tornado alley” followed me. April 2009, the “Good Friday tornado outbreak” occurred. My husband and I were in Texas for Easter, and we watched online as a large EF-4 tornado swept across Middle Tennessee… Only a few miles from our home. Once again, tears were shed, especially for the mother and her 9-week-old who were killed.

Moore, OK. Joplin, MO. The April 25-28, 2011 outbreak. This week I happened to be watching tv as Tupelo, MS took a direct hit. The footage out of Arkansas was staggering.

Every time tornado warnings come I wonder if this is the time I won’t be so lucky. Is this the time we will be facing starting over… assuming we get through it.

And yet, outside of trusting I know what to do — seek shelter, protect myself the best I can, pray — there is nothing I can do about it. I can’t stop the tornados. I can’t avoid them entirely. What will be, will be. And should that day come that “my luck runs out” I pray I have the strength to do what has to be done and the faith to keep going forward.

My prayers are with all the victims of these latest storms as well as those still living with the scars of past tragedies.

CNN has compiled a great list of ways we can all help victims of these massive storms.