I'm filled with so much emotion today, that I don't know if my words will be effective but I'm going to give it a go. The shootings in Dallas last night have left me heartbroken.

I'm not only saddened for the families who have lost their loved ones, but I'm more overwhelmingly saddened that so many people are filled with anger and hate. Filled with sadness, I often want to escape and found myself listening the Harry Potter series on audiobook today.

I am very aware that I live a blessed life. I am grateful to have grown up in an environment filled with love, respect and kindness. I've never gone hungry or known what it's like to live in fear for my life. I am aware and recognize that I am truly blessed to not have suffered through a life filled with hate.

I'm just deeply saddened that so many people do. I feel like the answer seems simple, but it's extraordinarily complicated. Today, I find myself wanting to understand, and also to offer compassion, kindness, and love.

I've seen so many memes in my social media feeds calling for tolerance, and sharing quotes from leaders reminding us to show love. Maybe it just needs to start at home, and within.

“We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

It's well-known that I love the stories of Harry Potter written by J.K. Rowling, and before you discount this wholly as escapism let me share with you some quotes from the text of these novels written for children.

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

 

“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

 

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

There are lessons in these yarns. No, not potions, charms or history of magic, but lessons of tolerance, unity, love and friendship. I turn back to these stories, reading them again, and I'm reminded that in order to fight hatred we must love one another.

“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

 

“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

 

“We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

 

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

It's true. Words can change the world. Words can heal. We all have a choice. While we cannot change the actions of others, we can change our response. We have that choice.

“Besides, the world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters. We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

 

“You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

 

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Our minds are powerful, and our ability to think and imagine the world as a better place may well be the genesis of that creative result. Imagine a world filled with kindness, compassion and empathy, and we may well bring it into existence.

“Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and, therefore, the foundation of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.”
― J.K. Rowling