Today I traveled to Orlando. Everyone I know was concerned about my traveling, especially after what happened this past weekend. The fear was almost visible as I arrived at the gate. The news coverage was all over the televisions screens in the airport. People were talking about it at the gate. Everywhere you turned people were surrounded by the scenes and the terror. I have to admit that I too was a bit concerned about traveling after such a horrific act of violence. 

And then as I sat at my gate and thought about the horrors of the weekend, it made me mad. Not just mad, it made me angry. Anger welled up inside my stomach, my heart, my head…even my soul. It made me furious to think that someone was making our world unsafe just because they wanted to…THEY decided that we should be afraid.  THEY did what they wanted to terrorize us. I say no. 

I will not give such a person power over my world. I will not give them the power to make me live my life in fear. I will not allow them to kill hope, and truth and honesty. I will not allow them to prevent me from giving my gifts away to the world. That means I have to be safe without fear. It means I have to travel smart and with my head held high. It means I might have to turn off the tv and only know/listen to a small portion of the news…because I have learned that people will tell you what is going on, if indeed something is going on. 

This is the world we live in. This is the sadness and confusion and violence that has become part of our everyday lives. My nieces and nephews do not know a world without these events; these are the only times they know. I grew up free from such terroristic events on American soil, and the world seemed a more simple place back then. Children walked to school, played in thier neighbor’s yards, roamed the neighborhood on summer afternoons looking for sprinklers to jump through.Children were safe to roam…that is no longer true. No we step into fear when we step outside our doors. 

I ask you to keep the families and friends of the victims of terror in your thoughts and prayers. They too got up one day and thought nothing of enjoying life. Confused men changed that, and now we have terror among us all the time. It lingers in the back of our minds and haunts our dreams. Be strong and live your life – smart and safe – and live it large. Do not let those who want to create fear allow you to live in the shadow of fear. Take away that power by living in love, peace and joy. Only by taking back our lives and our joy can we combat the intentions of terrorism. Let’s live life strong and free AND live our lives in LOVE.