We can do this.

Today has been difficult -- and it's only weeks after some other really difficult days/weeks/months. I've been pendulum swinging between sadness and anger and wanting to just hug everyone. Normally this is the part when I tell you all that I truly do believe everything is going to be okay. And I do. I just don't think it's going to happen tomorrow. Or the day after that. Or the day after that.

I'm not losing my optimism. I'm still recklessly optimistic and I refuse to change that, but I do think that how we react to this - how we're already reacting to this terrible and tragic event - matters. It matters more than we can possibly fathom.

And this anger thing is the easy part. It's taking it to the next level that's going to make the difference. It's where we direct that anger that will alter the course we're on.

I wish I had better words than these. I wish I knew the right thing to say. I wish I had ideas of what to do next.

Let's make a list, for ourselves and for each other. I'll start with what I can think of, and then will you please add to it? Add organizations that we can donate to that can help, and whatever else you can think of to start pointing us in the right direction. I don't have a lot of money, so can't be one of those amazing bloggers who says that she will match a donation to something, but we can make this blog post a good source for people who have the cash to give. Also, though, we can do so much more than give money. We all have gifts and we all have love, so let's gather together and flood the world with kindness. Ready? Here we go:

  1. Love. Above all else, before you do anything or say anything, ask yourself if love is the driving force behind that action or those words.
  2. VOTE. Make calls, do all the crap that everyone is telling you to do all the time. Your voice matters and it is heard, and your odds of that being true only go up when you actually speak up.
  4. Laugh. Comedy is SO important right now. I know it seems like I'm telling you to make a joke out of this, but know that that is so not what I'm saying. I'm saying that we need to find comedy in other places. We need to allow ourselves to take a break from the crap of this world for bits of time and just laugh. For example, as I write this, I am currently watching the latest Seinfeld comedy special, and I'm enjoying it, because that is okay. Taking time to enjoy yourself while terrible things are happening does not make you a bad person. It keeps you human. Because it's all about balance.
  5. Ask people who are in the thick of it how you can help and what you can do. Don't just sit there and say "How terrible, I wish there was something I could do." We have the Internet. Find someone to help and help them.

Okay, that's all I can muster right now. What about you?

UPDATE: Thank you Grace Helbig.