On Saturday night I went to the movies to see 42. As I exited the theater I picked up my phone – 36 alerts. I switched over to text messages and saw a reply from an earlier message to a friend. The end of her message read “Zimmerman not guilty.” I asked, “On all counts?” She replied, “Yes.” Tears filled my eyes as I felt like my heart was being ripped out! I began reading posts on FB and IG … perhaps my biggest mistake.

I spent the remainder of the weekend trying to “get myself together” and perhaps make sense of why this case pierced my heart in this way. Perhaps because it’s the first time that something like this –highly charged, racially motivated , injustice prevailing – has happened while I have been on social media. I found myself both proud of being associated with some of my friends and angry that others seemed to go on as if nothing at all happened; inspired by many of the responses of empathy and sympathy and irritated by the insensitive and downright ignorant comments by others. Or perhaps it’s because things of this nature – racial profiling, police brutality, unjustified shootings – happen quite often. The nation rises up, people protest, media covers the events and subsequent reactions but after a month of two, life seems to go on as usual. So perhaps I was and am praying, hoping, longing for the momentum to remain; for people to remember and use this as the impetus for ongoing change. Or maybe it’s because I have been perceived as “taking life too seriously” or “demanding too much” from both my most intimate relationships and even peripheral social relationships, but this case reminded me of my passion – of my most innate longing to ALWAYS remain aware, engaged and active. This case and this verdict reminded me that I have a voice and that unless I use it, injustice, inequality, and discrimination prevail. This case reminded me that I have a purpose driven life that does not belong to me. This case reminded me that unless I am willing to live each and every day of my life in such a way that reaches out and beyond, all my anger, frustration, sadness and confusion are in vain.

What now: I have decided to step back a little from social media. I am finding it to be a bit much with random – and not so random – posts that appear to have not been well thought through from people I believe would never be able to back up their thoughts in a crowd of their peers. I am also doing a self-recheck; just making sure that my actions are intentional, my life is one of service and that I use this additional momentum to keep going.  And finally I ask you: what are you doing? How do you live your life? Does your service extend beyond your household and immediate family? Do you remain abreast of current events and their correlation to historical occurrences? After your anger subsides, will your ongoing actions speak for your passion?

Writing truly is my therapy. I didn’t think I had the courage or enough sense of calm to write this post, but I am happy I pressed through. Thank you for reading.