Last night my 8-year-old little boy, Nick, came to me upset and crying. He said that he saw something that said the world was going to end. I asked him to show me what he saw, but we could not locate the story or image again.
Despite my best efforts to block “inappropriate” content for his little eyes, some still will get through. I don’t know what he saw, but I told him about the time I was 12 (I think) and my parents allowed me to watch a movie called “The Day After” on a prime network channel. Scared the living daylights out of me. It was about the people and the Earth left behind after a nuclear explosion.
I can see myself clearly running to my mama in the exact same way Nick ran to me and stating that I was upset because I was afraid the world was going to end. I never forgot what my mom said to me. She calmed me down by telling me that her father thought the world was going to end when he was a child, and she thought the world was going to end when she was a child. She said, “…but, the world keeps right on spinning.”
I am not sure why that worked, but it did. Especially after she told me about the bomb drills they would have at school. We never had those. Tornadoes maybe, but not bombs.
So I calmed down immediately… and so did Nick, when I told him the exact same stories about his great-grandfather, his grandmother, me, and now, him. I said confidently, “…and the world keeps right on spinning.” He wiped his tears, gave me a hug, breathed a sigh of relief, and walked off, but do you know who did not breathe a sigh of relief? Me.
Something is different. This time it’s not just a movie. It’s not a radio announcement. It’s not even a bomb drill. I don’t know what to blame it on… Category 5 hurricanes, earthquakes, wild fires, losing chunks of sea ice that are equivalent in size to the country of Mexico…? I don’t know, but something is definitely different.
But here’s the good news. (I know, I know… not the typical feel good story for Make A Way, I get it, but there IS good news.) We can change anything. We have all the skills we need to make it happen. If you are worried about anything from weapons proliferation to climate change DO SOMETHING! Attend a rally. Send an email. Stop drinking from a straw. Talk to others. Learn something you did not know. And most of all VOTE. Vote every time, in every election you can, because it matters.
I was momentarily troubled. Then I wrote this note to you and I feel better because I believe in you, and me, and the difference we can make. My breathing has returned to normal and I can hear her voice so clear, “Deedee-Bug, the world keeps right on spinning.” And it will, because you and me? We are the change-makers. Smile. The future is bright and it’s ours.