I considered holding off publishing these photos for a few days out of respect for all those who have been touched by this unfathomable violence... but after some soul searching and careful thought, decided against it. That's because now, more than ever, we must honor and celebrate peace. Hate and anger cannot be fought with guns and bullets. Hate and anger must be fought with love, words and selfless acts of kindness -- acts that we are all capable of.
That's why I'm dedicating this blog post to people like Sarah, owner of Hooked and Loopy, who use their time and talents to spread peace, joy and love, and in doing so, bring people together. As far as I'm concerned, peacemakers come in all shapes, sizes, colors, orientations and nationalities. They can be found in every community across America, and their contributions cannot and should not go unnoticed.
- Thank you to all of the parents out there who raise their children to be kind, compassionate, sympathetic, empathetic, tolerant and open-minded.
- Thank you to all of the creators, makers, writers, musicians and artists of the DMV area and beyond, who selflessly give and, in doing so, bring communities together, simply by pursuing what makes them happy.
- Thank you to all of the protesters, committed to non-violence, who use their first-amendment rights to speak up for victims and against injustices here at home and around the world.
- Thank you to the community organizers and small business owners who creative safe, welcoming spaces for everyone.
- Thank you to the nurses, doctors, social workers, therapists, home healthcare workers and healers who have dedicated their lives to helping others.
- Thank you to the firefighters, police officers, EMTs, teachers, custodians, garbage collectors and other civil servants who serve their community, and ask nothing in return but a paycheck so they might raise their families.
- Thank you to the playground heroes who stand up to schoolyard bullies.
- Thank you to anyone who has ever gone out of their way to help a stranger.
I'm not a religious person, but I do believe in the profound and universal statements of Corinthians 13:13, that of faith, hope and love, love is the greatest, and arguably, most powerful virtue the human spirit can experience.