10 Simple Ways to Stop the Violence


Yesterday afternoon my husband led me around the side of our house happy to show me the round, tight buds on the peony bush had finally burst into a surreal explosion of pink ruffled petals. I joyfully clipped two stems loaded with flowers and held them to ours noses to inhale their sweet intoxicating fragrance. I took the peonies inside and carefully arranged them in a glass vase. Admiring them, I sighed out loud, “How can something so beautiful exist in this world?”

At the same time I celebrated the sheer elegance of those flowers, something unspeakably horrific was happening in an elementary school classroom in Texas.

This isn’t the first time I have felt blindly naive focusing on the simple beauty in the world when there is obviously so much ugliness. For as long as I can remember, I have sought out the beauty in the world. As a literature teacher and writer, it became my life’s work. But as we elevate beauty, we must also denounce ugliness.

I am certain you, too, are a lover of beauty and are devastated by hideous events such as this latest school shooting. No one thing is going to change the world, but collectively, it could make a difference. In honor of the children who were murdered yesterday by someone who was not much more than a child himself, please consider these ten simple things we can all do to reduce violence and make it a more beautiful world.

  1. Stop supporting violence in television and movies.
  2. Stop supporting violence in books and magazines.
  3. Stop supporting violence in art and music.
  4. Stop supporting violent video games.
  5. Reconsider the value of social media.
  6. Let your words and actions inspire kindness.
  7. Get involved in your community.
  8. Protect children from violence in every possible way.
  9. Vote for politicians committed to sensible gun legislation.
  10. Fill your daily life with beauty. §

“We can change the world and make it a better place.
It is in your hands to make a difference.”

~Nelson Mandela

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s