ShirleyIconThe world is a terrible place.  The latest outrage just occurred in India where a young woman was brutally raped and murdered by a pack of hoodlums.  Their defense?  Her clothing was too seductive.  Yes, I see…In recent weeks, we have been bludgeoned by a once-in-a-lifetime (we hope) storm named Sandy; our ambassador and other noble souls  serving in a region close to the gates of Hell lost their lives in one senseless moment; and 26 children and their teachers in Newtown lost theirs as they began another day at school. In the latter case, surely tears must be shed for the assailant as we examine the numerous missed opportunities which could have prevented this catastrophe.  Nature is difficult to change, but the actions of humans can, we hope, be prevented.  And, as we enter another year, I think most of us are asking how we can change things, and even if change is possible.Winter

Surely no one person can right all the wrongs in this insane world.  But  each individual can and should do one thing that can make a change.  Times like this make me more introspective than usual.  I know that I can donate and volunteer to various causes, and I do that.  I know that I can use words, forever my banner, to connect with people and help spark a common sense of humanity.  In my novel, My Mother’s Shoes, I write about my mother’s final days and her death from Alzheimer’s.  But what I did not reveal were my final words to her.  As I bent toward her ear, I wasn’t sure if she could understand or even hear me.  And yet I spoke the words again and again.  “You were the best mother.” How can I change the world?  Perhaps I will start there, and perhaps that will be just enough.