I get it.
I do.
I work a 9-to-5. When I get home from my job I have only so many hours left in my day before I have to go to sleep, wake up and go back to work the next day.

“Free time isn’t something I have a lot of.”
I get it.
“But I’m too busy.”

I get home from work and I don’t want to go to the gym.
It’s easier- So much easier to sit on my couch, turn on the latest show I’m binging and eat a cookie.
God, I love cookies.

“I’m just too tired.”
“I’ve got too much on my plate.”
“There are other, more personal things that I need to focus on.”

Whenever I talk about change with other people this is what I am told.

I get it.

But you have to understand: Real change requires people. Lots and lots of people, all working together towards a common goal.

“It’s impossible to get people to agree.”
I get it.

There are so many things in this country that we argue over.
So many issues that, at the flip of a switch, will turn a persons face beet red as they attempt to yell, with a great volume and force, right through you.
I understand the passion.
A great deal of it comes from frustration and pain.
I get it.

I see all of the anger and disagreement.
I see people debating and talking, but I think everyone’s focus is in the wrong place.
Please allow me to explain.

Let’s say that I’m a member of a group.
This group says that people with red hair are taking our jobs.
I am against people with red hair one hundred and twenty percent.
I know that they are reason our countries economy is in trouble.
For further proof, I was fired and a person with red hair replaced me.
One day, I’m walking down a beach.
I look out at ocean and, just off shore, I see a child.
It’s crying out and struggling.
It’s very clear that this child is drowning.
It’s just me on the beach.
There’s no one around for miles and no cell service.
I am now forced to make a choice.
What do I do?
Do I save the child or do I let it drown?
I make my choice.
I swim out to the child.
I tell them to hold on to me and then I swim back to the beach.
I crawl from the water onto the sand.
Gasping for breath, both I, and the child, fall over.

I hear another voice. It’s the child’s mother. She runs up to the child and clutches it.
Tears streams down her face as she holds it.
The worst thing that could ever happen almost did.
This parent almost lost their child.
But, because I made the choice to save it, they didn’t.
I made this choice without thinking.
No thought was required because my heart knew that there was no choice.
This is a universal truth.

But, hang on.
I just noticed something.
The mother has red hair.
The child does too.
Wait.
These are the very people who are causing my problems.
Should I have saved the child?
Should I have stood on the beach and let the child drown?
Each of us should ask ourselves this question.
Its answer is important. 
Once you have your answer, instead of the child having red hair, imagine they’re gay.

It seems to me that somewhere in the process of getting older- In the process of being hardened by our jobs, our insecurities and by how unfair an adult life can be that we have forgotten a very simple, human fact:
We were all children once.
Deep down inside each and everyone one of us, behind impenetrable, self-made walls, we still are.
If a child is drowning we do not think about that child’s hair color, skin color or their sexuality.
We don’t think at all.
We just act.
We try our damnedest to save a life.
Because even thought we try and fight it, we know that all life is precious.

“Well, these are difficult times.”

I get it.
But the answer to our political division isn’t more yelling.
If you choose to yell and argue you are tuning out your heart.
You are standing on the shore and watching a child drown.
And the sad truth is that the cause of child’s death won’t be water.
No.
It will be your silence.
The child will drown in your sea of inaction.

On Monday, June 13th 2016, one of the worst mass shootings in the history of the United States of America took place.
A man went into a gay club in Orlando with an assault rifle.
His intent was to kill.
He ended the lives of 49 innocent people.
He injured 53 others.

We are, all of us in the United States of America, standing on a beach, watching children drown.

We did nothing and 49 lives were ended.

We could have done something to keep it from happening.
But we didn’t.
And now, because of that choice, a piece of 49 mothers and fathers souls will always be missing.
These 49 people slept and breathed.
These 49 people had hopes and dreams.
These 49 people, just like you, wondered if they would ever fall in love. Perhaps some were lucky enough too.
These 49 people, who’s lives were just as sacred as a child’s, were torn apart by bullets from an automatic weapon.
The lives of 53 others will never be the same.

Your lawmakers just voted.
 And they refused to do anything about it.

To be this compassion-less is inhuman.
It’s also un-American.
This is not who we are.

“I’m busy.”
I get it.

“My life didn’t work out the way I wanted.”
I’m sorry to hear that. Mine didn’t either.
I get it.

We, all of us, need to swim.
To do nothing is a horrific choice.
To change our gun laws you, each and every single one of you who is now reading these words has to put in the time and help.
You must take part in the process of change.
Even if your only able to contribute a half hour a week.
You must.

We try and hide from our responsibility to each other.
We try to rationalize it away.
We post ideologies and articles on social media and we think that’s enough, knowing that, really, it’s not.

The truth is that we are responsible for every child, who, really is every person, that we could have helped saved.
Every single soul.
There have been thousands.
If you stand there and do nothing, there will be thousands more.

You could have helped.
But you were too busy to swim.
That is your choice.
I get it.
Do you?

If you would like to learn how to take action and join in the push of change please follow these links:
 
 30 Gun control actions you can take now:
http://www.30guncontrolactionsyoucantakenow.com/take-action/
 
Call you’re representative and demand change.
Call once a week (or more).
Keep track of how many times you called, what was said and if anything has been done.
Post the results to social media.
Create a history to hold them accountable with.
Find a number here: http://whoismyrepresentative.com/
 
Write to your senator.
Write once a week (or more).
Keep track of how many times you have written, if they respond, and if anything has been done.
Post the results to social media.
Create a history to hold them accountable with.
Find an address here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Our leaders need you to vote them into power. To get your vote they need to know what you’re talking and thinking about. They need to know what you care about.
Do no let them dictate what that is.
Make noise.
Be kind.
And demand change.

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