When Hate Turns to Violence… What Can We Do? 

Bonnie CanalNews, WE CARE! Team

When Hate Turns to Violence… What Can We Do?

Like you, I am deeply moved by the latest mass shooting in New Zealand.  I have grown weary of the loss of life due to the hatred that has inspired these types of events. It doesn’t take long for this to travel around the world to draw or repel those watching.

Those in charge in New Zealand have taken strong actions to curb this type of violence in their communities, but I am left wondering what can I do? Is there something I can do to in my own life to curb this hatred? While there are no short answers, I am still left with the desire to explore solutions.

I have been working in the field of Community Resilience for 12 years. I have traveled to places that have experienced the horrors that the world can show. I am left with the thought that kindness is a simple affirmation of people’s ability to care about each other. So, I don’t oppose hate; I embrace kindness. For opposition to something is harder than the willingness of embrace.

I have learned how sweet it is to love someone and how right it is to care.

How do we stop hate?

I have come to understand that we can’t eliminate hate. Unfortunately, it is the darker side of human nature. So, the question must be how do we overcome it?

I walked outside and saw a bird in the new leaves of spring. When I look into a child’s eye, I see such hope? There is so much good in the world. Many times, the distraction of darkness doesn’t allow us to see the light and joy in the world.

As I walk down my street, do I see people as “others” or as “neighbors”? Can I recognize what we have in common as opposed to what makes us different from each other?

These are the thoughts that lead me to put a stake in the ground. I need to do something. Here in NOLA we are establishing a local non-profit based on the long success of Community Renewal in Shreveport, La. They have a model that can be adapted that I know can help us here combat the systemic challenges we face.

We need your help! Like all organizations in the beginning we are looking for 2 things.

  1. We need folks that are committed to making a difference in their community. We are putting together a core group of volunteers that will stand this organization up. We have the model, now we need the hands!
  2. We need seed funding. We have a non-profit that has agreed to help us grow; but like everything in the world, we need money to make it real.

If you feel as if you can offer us some help in either of these 2 asks, please reach out to me. Together we can build a better future today by learning to appreciate the sameness and differences each of our neighbors bring to our communities. Community Renewal connects neighbors and residents to restore the foundation of safe and caring communities.

Bonnie Canal
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