Will Hate Win?

Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we’ve suffered, to forgive the one who inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.

I sat with tears in my eyes as I watched the late news last night. I don’t normally watch because the stories always make me feel heavy. The weight of the world seems to settle on my shoulders as I wonder how, as a human race – setting aside race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation – but as a human race we have become so goddamned full of hate.

Then one by one, the family members of the victims’ in the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting stood in front of the man who murdered the people they loved and held dearest in their hearts, people they will never see, hear, or touch again…and they forgave him.

“I will never talk to her ever again. I will never be able to hold her ever again. But I forgive you.”

“You hurt me, you hurt a lot of people. May God forgive you.”

“You have killed some of the most beautifulest people that I know… And it will never be the same. But as we said in Bible study, we enjoyed you. May God have mercy on you.”

“Although my grandfather and the other victims died at the hands of hate…everyone’s plea for your soul is proof that they lived and loved and their legacies will live on…..Hate won’t win.”

Hate won’t win.

Those three words were the last I heard before I went to sleep last night and are still there this morning.  I want desperately to hold on to them, to believe them. I pray to a deity to which my belief wavers from day to day and I wonder if it’s possible.

How far gone are we as a race? As a human race?

I know there is good in the world. I see it every day. Sadly, I see far too much more hate and prejudice and it is no wonder I feel so tired. I have brought children into a world where they have to learn to hide under desks or in closets and locked, gated fences are put around elementary schools to keep out those who would do them harm. And for what?

Hate. Anger. Mental illness. Belief in a cause that resents our freedom.

We go to the movies, to church, to the grocery store….the simple act of driving a car down the freeway and these all become a crap shoot.

Kids are beat up and mentally tortured for being different, or just being themselves.

Husbands kill wives, wives kill husbands. They kill their own children in the heat of a moment to hurt one another.

Children are neglected and abused, going to bed hungry because we live in a society where getting rich and gaining power is more important than taking care of our fellow man, making sure familes are fed, clothed, and have a place to lay their head at night that doesn’t sit on four tires.

Evil preys on our children, both inside and outside the family, and it knows no boundaries.

There are so many, many more stories on the evening news and some we will never even hear about. Every moment, anger and hate are perpetuated and we are fully on guard every time something like Charleston happens. Or are we?

Has this become the new normal?

I despise the idea that this is a very large part of the world my children are growing up in.

What Dylan Roof did was wrong. It was evil personified. But what those family members of his victims did was goodness and mercy. I am sure they will be relieved to see justice served but in their own hearts today, I hope they find peace. They have done themselves a great service. They have fostered a spirit of love and forgiveness, turning from the perpetuation of hate and offering hope.

It doesn’t make the world perfect. There will still be prejudice and judgment, bullying and violence. I know, in all honesty, that if someone was to hurt someone I love, just the thought of it boils my blood and vengeance is the first thought I have.

Perhaps I was crying with a mixture of emotion, realizing that what these people were doing was monumental, but knowing in my heart I would never be able to do what they have done….offer forgiveness to someone who took someone so precious to me.

Obviously there should be forgiveness, if for no other reason than to rest our own weary souls and to teach the next generation that it can be done…that love, compassion, grace, and mercy do still exist on this messy planet.

Can we learn, as hard as it might be, to forgive?

Of course, this is not to be confused with forgetting or becoming complacent. But obviously, fighting back, not with vengeful, unnecessary violence, but forgiveness is possible.

Is this the way to learn as well as to teach that hate won’t win and  to begin healing a broken race?

Or are we too late?



Photo credit: flickr.com

When Our Children Want To Make a Difference

There will be no prizes at the door. The only thing you will find me peddling here, aside from words, are products I make and sell myself for charity donation and other things that are sold to us so we can, in the words of my good friend Lizzi, buy the world better.

This is a direct quote from my About page. And I meant it, but I have always reserved the right to promote the hell out of anything that makes a difference in someone’s life.

This is one of those times.

In July of 2013, when my daughter was only ten years old, she was incredibly sensitive to a story about a young girl who lived in our area who, just a few years older than Nikki,  had several different types of cancer. She was an incredibly brave and her personality was forever upbeat and positive as she shared her life with the world. I know she changed lives before she left this broken world for good.

This young girl was very involved in a local charity in our town and Nikki decided she wanted to volunteer. She wanted to make a difference, even something as small as a smile to other kids who were battling cancer. It broke her heart when she found out she was too young.

That didn’t stop her. She asked me if I could help her make things, all kinds of things-her ideas at ten were endless-and open an Etsy shop to sell them. Then we could donate the money to the charity, BASECamp Childhood Cancer Foundation.

This would do until she was old enough to volunteer her time, energy, and heart. I admire her compassion. I am embracing her determination.

And so, NixHeart was born. It has been a sporadic journey. A young girl with ever changing ideas about style is always coming up with new things to try. I finally managed to pin her down to a choice few but chances are good there will always be new and interesting things created.

With life such as it is, we haven’t gotten to pay as much attention to NixHeart as we should. That ends today.

Today I want to share some photos and a link to NixHeart. We would love for you to visit, share, pin, tweet, and maybe, if you feel so inclined, help make a difference.

These are just a sample of what we have in the shop right now and there are more great things on the way. Proceeds from every sale will be donated quarterly to BASECamp Childhood Cancer Foundation.

You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

NixHeart Proceeds to Charity
Bright royal blue quartz briolettes wrapped in silver plated wire
NixHeart Proceeds to Charity
A glitter filled glass bottle with a charm that reads ‘Made With Love’. This pendant is dedicated to a wonderul friend who believes in compassion and whose heart is filled with grace and love. To her, glitter is the ultimate show of love mixed with a bit of silliness and she is a huge believer in our hope to make the world better for those in need. We are happy to custom make a bottle glitter in any color you choose that is available to us. All you have to do is ask!
NixHeart Proceeds to Charity
One in a new line of gorgeous statement pieces at NixHeart. The best part of this line is that is fun and funky yet elegant and modern at the same time. These pieces are sure to get noticed!
NixHeart Proceeds to Charity
A 30mm antique bronze metal pendant with domed glass embellishment, painted green with gold glitter.  The pendant is attached to a 24 inch large link chain making necklace length adjustment simple.
NixHeart Proceeds to Charity
Lovely moonstone briolettes wrapped in sterling silver wire and hanging from sterling silver hooks to create these elegant earrings.
NixHeart Proceeds to Charity
A one inch antique bronze pendant with domed glass embellishment, painted brown with multi color glitter.
NixHeart Proceeds to Charity
Gorgeous green onyx wrapped in sterling silver wire hung on sterling silver hooks to make this simple but stunning pair of earrings.

Sometimes peddling is worth it.

Thanks for taking the time. Nikki and I truly appreciate it!




Compassion Is Not Only a Noun – #1000 Speak

The dictionary defines compassion as a noun, sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. While I agree that compassion is fellow feeling, concern, kindness, humanity, tenderness, mercy, and love, I don’t take to the word pity.

While the general emotions are, in fact, nouns I tend to believe that the word compassion is also a verb.

To pity is to feel sorry for.

Compassion is doing something about it.

Compassion is an act. It is going out of your way, or maybe not so far out at all, to help another human being who is suffering emotionally, spiritually, or physically.

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. ~ Dalai Lama

Identifying with another person is an essential process for human beings.  If you translate compassion literally, it means “to suffer together.” It is a process. When you can feel empathy for a person in a difficult time are you not more motivated to do something in an effort to make things better? You feel this person’s pain. Perhaps the situation is different, but you know from experience the emotional turmoil and suffering beneath and you want to DO SOMETHING.

In this doing of something to right the wrong you not only make the much needed human connection but you enlighten and improve not only the life of someone else, but your own as well.

Acts of compassion do not need to move mountains. It can be as simple as a look to a mother with a difficult child that doesn’t show aggravation or pity. You offer her understanding and tell her it’s okay. In that moment you have offered her strength and motivation. You have offered yourself the opportunity to make the world a better place in that small time and space.

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them. ~ Dalai Lama

Imagine if everyone committed to one small act of unsolicited and unconditional compassion:

  • running an errand for a sick friend
  • holding the hand of an elderly person who is ill
  • listening to a co-worker who recently lost a loved on
  • offering the use of your cell phone to a stranded stranger
  • helping the person in the grocery line without quite enough money

These are actions within the realm of possibility every single day for someone, somewhere. Add all of these together and these tiny moments become momentous. Huge. Life changing.

For all of us.

Do not turn away. Do not close your eyes to an opportunity to reach out and make the world a better place, in even the smallest way, for another person. In taking that measure, you not only improve the life of another, but your own as well.

Which brings me to what may be the hardest compassionate steps to take. Compassion toward our selves.

Have you spent your life being told you are not good enough? Not smart enough? Not thin enough? Not pretty enough?

I call bullshit.

We are all good enough.

We are all smart enough.

We are all beautiful.

Speak to yourself the way you would speak to someone else feeling the same hurt. This can break the pattern of pain and change everything.

I read a quote a while back that said “Without suffering there would be no compassion.”

In a perfect world.

But we need to be realistic. This is, and likely always will be, an imperfect world. There will be suffering.

So let there be compassion.

Listen with intention. Support and understand the best you can. In those moments, see a life change. Feel your heart change. This is compassion.
This is love.

~Sandy Ramsey

1000 speak

This post is just a small part of a movement to bring compassion to light. This is the way we prefer to break the internet. To read more beautiful, powerful words from some incredible writers please click the picture above, share some of these posts, and become part of #1000Speak.




photo credit: 365::47 – poetry in my life via photopin (license)

I Am Fine

It’s always nice to be asked to write for someone else. It is especially flattering when the person asking happens to be one of the most incredible people you know. HastyWords is a talented writer and poet, having such a gift with words. It is my absolute pleasure to be a guest on her blog today.

If you’re the least bit curious, and you know you are, you should click below on the age old question to read my thoughts on the ever popular answer.

How are you?

Comments are closed here today.


Photo Credit: Ryan McGuire/gratisography.com