Be the Light in the Darkness

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Hi Everyone,

Once again our nation is reeling in the aftermath of another senseless massacre. This time, 17 promising lives in Parkland, Florida were cut short.

I have always believed that when you have the ability to make a difference, you also have the responsibility to make a difference, and I strive to make a difference through my art and writing. During troubling times like these, I think it is incumbent upon those of us who have been blessed with creative talents to use our abilities to build bridges of peace and understanding; inspire calmness; become the voice of reason and take a stand for justice.

Last year I wrote a blog post called “Be a L.I.G.H.T. in the World!”  which shares my acronym for LIGHT: Love, Inspire, Give, Heal, Transform. 

Reach out in Love
                Inspire by example
          Give from my heart
      Heal the pain I see
and help Transform 
 despair into HOPE
     hostility into KINDNESS
          apprehension into COOPERATION
              anger into UNDERSTANDING
                     and indifference into ACTION
 and I invite you to join me in this quest.
 Often, when the world seems dark and scary, it also seems to be spinning out of control. Acknowledging that we are not in control of things which desperately matter to us is hard. But not being in control does not mean that we are powerless!
After spending much of the past few days absorbing various responses to this latest tragedy, and speaking to friends of different faiths, socio-economic backgrounds and political beliefs from all over the country, I have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t have to be this way. This is our country, and our voices matter. Enough is ENOUGH. If enough of us are willing to work together to figure out a solution to this complex issue, I believe that we can– and that we will– be successful.

          We must become the light; only light can illuminate the darkness.

Yes, it’s a complicated issue; but it isn’t a hopeless issue. Rather than casting blame on the NRA, or shrugging our shoulders and saying Congress isn’t ever going to take action, let’s take the ball into our own hands and become advocates for change. I have not spoken with ONE person who thinks it makes sense for ordinary citizens to be able to purchase semi-automatic weapons. NOT ONE.

Yes, we need a solution which includes universal background checks, addresses mental health issues, improves security in our schools, and implements sensible gun control laws without eroding our second amendment right to bear arms. Isn’t it worth the effort to craft legislation which will ensure that we are putting fewer people at risk? By working together we can heal the great divide which has been paralyzing our country.

We can start by utilizing the Zenspirations® Word of the Month for February: LISTEN. Be open to hear other people’s ideas, and be willing to share yours. We can’t change the past, but we can start today to build a safer future for everyone. The more we use our creative talents to promote understanding and foster cooperation, the brighter the light of our souls will shine. I want to invite you to join me in using compassion and creativity to build bridges and encourage hope. Together we can make the world a better– and a safer– place.

What can you do right now? You can let your congressional leaders know how you feel! Click here to find and write to your representatives,  or call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121, which will connect you directly with your senators’ or representative’s office. Or call your elected officials’ offices directly at numbers found here for the Senate and here for the House.

I’ve done a lot of research this week, and have compiled a list of articles and videos I found enlightening, inspiring, moving and/or educational. Please leave a comment to let me know if you’d like me to share these. If you are interested, I’d also be happy to share the letter I’m writing to my Congresswoman and Senators.

Keep BELIEVING. Believe in yourself. Believe that you have a unique ability to make a difference in the world. Believe in your dreams. Believe in those you love. Believe that you are where you are meant to be, and that what you do matters.

Before closing tonight I want to congratulate Jennifer Webster Siembida and Lisa Gheno-Cuevas. Lisa, your name was selected from those who left comments on last week’s blog– please let me know if you’d prefer a selection of Zenspirations® greeting cards, or a signed copy of the God Was in this Place print. Jennifer, your name was randomly drawn from those who shared a Love-themed Bible Journaling piece to celebrate the 1st anniversary of the Bible Journaling Jumpstart Facebook Group, and I’ll be sending you the awesome basket of goodies.

Thank you all for the difference you make in the world. Please share the concept becoming a L.I.G.H.T. … the more people who are committed to being kind and respectful, to reaching out in love, to staying grounded in gratitude and keeping hope in their hearts, the better!

Stay Zenspired,


17 thoughts on “Be the Light in the Darkness”

  1. Thank you Joanne, you have done a wonderful job of putting together varied thoughts. Any common sense articles that you would like to share I am sure will be appreciated.

  2. Beautifully written Joanne. I am committed to being a person who spreads light, joy and hope. Thank you for your inspiring words. Much love ❤️

  3. Yes, please do share the inspiring and hopeful articles and videos. I think we can all benefit ! I love the BE THE LIGHT! I will be sharing that… i know you won’t mind . So sorry that the world needs that more than ever

    PS watch these kids lead the way. They seem fearless.

  4. Joanne, I’d love to see the articles and videos and see the letter you put together to send to our representatives. Thank you so much for stepping forward!

  5. Joanne, I’d love to see the articles and videos and see the letter you put together to send to our representatives. Thank you so much for stepping forward!

  6. Please share your resources list with me. I also have a list of organizations that I recommend people become active in for the purpose of electing officials who will support legislation controlling guns

  7. Your artwork is a great tribute to those precious lives.
    Please share the template late Thank you.

  8. Dear Joanne thank you for these encouraging words. I could not agree with you more. I would like your research list and letter to representatives in Congress to join in this effort.

  9. I’d appreciate the articles. This artwork is beautiful and the sentiments capture the emotions of this latest tragedy perfectly. This must stop.

  10. Thank you, Joanne, for your inspirational words.
    You’ve succinctly stated exactly what I feel, as I’m certain many others do also. It’s time to put our words into action. I will write, call or do whatever it takes to get these words into action. It is time to listen to the people who want change. WE THE PEOPLE!

  11. Look what came in the mail today!!!! And this was the first page I opened. “Be still and know that I am God”. God keeps reminding of this over and over. Thank you Joanne – this prayer journal is beautiful!

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