This Week in California

 In Community

There are a lot of words that describe the events of the last week that took place in California: challenging, devastating, heart breaking. The shooting in Thousand Oaks already feels like a distant memory now that Paradise, CA has been burned to a cinder and residents of Malibu have evacuated large animals to the beaches because there’s nowhere else for them to go. Things are happening so fast that we can barely keep track of them, much less process them.

We are all humans and, whether it’s direct or indirect, we are all experiencing this pain and devastation in some way. I think it’s important to take the time and make the space to recognize how these events impact us all and support each other. While we are all individual and unique, we are also fundamentally the same and equally susceptible to chaos that we can’t control. We can’t sterilize the planet and make it safe for everyone, but when challenges come up, we get through them more efficiently when there is a strong support system. However small, any act of support is important to both the giving and receiving parties. That’s my take on #CaliforniaStrong.

And acts of support and kindness shouldn’t be reserved for times of emergency. We’re living in a time of social and political polarization, any action that can bring people closer together is needed. A little good intention can take a small action a long way. Show support where it feels right:

Did a friend grow up in Paradise, CA? Share that you are thinking of them and their family. Do you appreciate veterans that have given a part of their lives to serve our country? Donate or volunteer with veteran’s support groups. Are you concerned that large corporations push a political agenda that doesn’t match your values? Shop local and support businesses in your community that contribute local tax dollars and create local jobs. Do you think that climate change is responsible for the frequency and intensity of fires? Reduce your carbon footprint by switching incandescent bulbs to LED, installing solar, or driving an EV powered by solar.

Here’s what feels right to me: gratitude. Thank you to fire fighters and first responders that risk their lives to protect us during disasters. Thank you to veterans for serving our country at home and abroad. Thank you to mental health professionals that work on the other side of disasters, who help the victims and the heroes cope with the things they have seen. Thank you to those that contribute what they can during times of need. Together we make #CaliforniaStrong.

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