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5 minutes to 43…

Tomorrow is my birthday. Today, at 42 and 364 days, I’m doing a me check-in. In this last week, I’ve tried to process two major tragedies – the rape and murder of Rebecca Dykes in Beirut, and the murder of my high school classmate Buckley Kuhn-Fricker and her husband in their home in Virginia.

What can I say about senseless violence? About lack of respect for human life? About people viewing each other as dispensable and disposable? What the fuck is wrong with us?!

A taxi driver with a criminal record who rapes and murders a young woman the night before she’s due to fly home for Christmas. A 17-year old Neo Nazi with a gun who kills a couple in their own home. How does anyone understand, explain, accept any of this?!

Hate crimes are all too popular these days. Hatred of women. Hatred of anyone different. How are these views still so powerful? And how is violence the answer to all this?!

I’m so sad for this ugly and bloody world.

So at 5-minutes-to-43, I have no material wishes. As an individual, I have everything I need. I am a content kid – for that, I’m unusually lucky. But my wish list for the world is superbig – unattainable, even.

The day before Buckley was killed, she posted the famous Edmund Burke quote on her Facebook page: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. She fought to keep evil from her home. And she was killed for it.

How then can we find the courage to speak truth, counter violence, choose love, and ensure that good triumphs when these are the consequences?!

It takes a lot of courage to not hate everybody these days. And frankly, it’s exhausting.

Maybe we needed a reminder – to scoop up those we love and just love them. At least in the moments we have. The rest is unimportant – and unpredictable. And the line between perfect and poop is crossed all too quickly.

Whether we’ve given our hearts to person, pup, profession – best to do it fully and savor every drop. It’s one way to counter all the yuck. It’s one way to honor those we’ve lost.

Know what you have, and do what you can with it. This is the promise we make to not ever allow ourselves to do nothing.

And the small stuff: a sunny winter day on an empty beach, a pup who loves Manchego cheese, the new Arundhati Roy book, a bottle of the yummiest-cheapest Rioja in the world, and so it goes.

Hello, 43.

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