Yesterday I read about a Florida elementary student who wanted to wear a University of Tennessee football t-shirt to school on “college colors day.” He didn’t have a UT shirt, so he wore an orange tee and drew a UT logo on a white piece of paper and happily pinned it to the front of his shirt. After some fellow students made fun of his shirt, a teacher found him crying. She then posted what happened on Facebook, asking if anyone had a connection to the University of Tennessee so she could get something extra special for the student.
After the post went viral, the university sent the classroom a ton of UT merchandise, and then created a t-shirt with the child’s original design on it to sell. Proceeds benefit the charity “Stomp Out Bullying,” and they’ve already sold over 16,000 t-shirts.
Today’s date brings to mind fear, unbelievable tragedy, division at its most destructive. But the first thing I saw today was an article posted by a family member about how over a dozen members of the current graduating FDNY Academy are children of 9/11 first responders. And then I thought, who knows how many people across the country were inspired to become first responders eighteen years ago?
Living in Manhattan at the time, I remember deep sadness and the fear of leaving my apartment in the days following 9/11. But I also remember the incredible outpouring of love and help that everyone gave everyone—from the brave responders to the hotdog street vendors handing out free water bottles for people evacuating downtown on foot in the absence of all public transportation.
When I was in Costa Rica two years ago, I did soul-level work with a horse who years earlier endured a very unpleasant life with a previous owner. When I say I “worked” with this horse, I mean he helped me in ways I’m still in awe of and endlessly grateful for. He currently lives on a beautiful retreat relaxing, enjoying life, and helping people in the deepest ways.
I’m not sure why painful things have to happen, but I do know that nature is balance and growth and love. And after a long, dark night, there comes a light that keeps getting brighter— sold-out charity t-shirts, healing horses, more first responders saving and helping. And I’m beyond grateful for that. ✨✨✨