How You Can Change The World in the Wake of Gun Violence.

This weekend another round of horrific, senseless violence occurred at a church and broke the lives of many.

Heartache will surge through the hearts and souls of Americans. Facebook, twitter and media will be filled with emotional reactions.  Arguments over gun ownership will ensue.

Then in a few days (or maybe even a few hours) the T.V. will be turned on and shows like American Horror Story will air, movies like Jigsaw will light up the screen.  Video game consoles will be fed Call of Duty.

We as a society and culture, feed the dark side of humanity in entertainment. Peruse the list of top grossing films, T.V. shows and video games and the glorification of guns and violence is strong.

Americans took the bait and started to feed the dark side of entertainment some years ago.  Alfred Hitchcock said that Psycho was the turning point where murder was acceptable form of entertainment.

When we watch violence in T.V., movies, read about it, we are literally activating a part of our brain, we are not casual observers.  This “entertainment” doesn’t just stay on the screen

Our brains are made up of mirror neurons.  According to an article published by the American Psychological Association, “Mirror neurons are a type of brain cell that respond equally when we perform an action and when we witness someone else perform the same action.”

What we choose to see, impacts everything.  What we value in society impacts everything, including how others choose to carry out their lives.

Yet somehow, as a society, we seem to shrink from this obvious connection.  When mass shootings occur, they are seen as “lone” shooters who are mentally unstable.  Yet, they are simply acting out what people pay billions of dollars a year to see on a screen.  They have sadly blurred the lines between entertainment and reality and lives were lost and forever changed.

If we want to mass shootings to stop, then we need to take an honest look at our society and ourselves.  We need to change our focus, to change what we value in society.  Because right now, you can walk into any Walmart and see a poster with either a “tough guy” with a gun or some grotesque mask on his face.  We have chosen, as a society, to visually value aggression, fear, power through toughness, and guns.

It’s time we flip the switch.  It’s time that we as a society start to highlight what is in our hearts. 

Regardless of background, politics, religion, everyone wants the same things in life.  To love, to be loved.  To feel like a valued member of society.  To be trusted.  To feel safe.  All of these and more, are all positive attributes.

Most of us speak of and lead these positive attributes in our homes.  Perhaps you are like me and you don’t watch the “thrillers” and “guts and glory”. Yet, sometimes out of frustration, we add to the negativity.  We add to the divisions with politics.   We meet that which we do not like with argument, verses focusing on that which we DO want.

If we want a better world for our children, for ourselves and for those around us, it begins with us.  It begins with what we focus on.


So here’s my challenge.

For the next 2 weeks do good, see good.

And here’s 5 things to get you started.




1. Rethink Social Media (options)

a. Take a break for a bit.

b. Post only positive, uplifting things for the next 2 weeks.

c. Write something positive on someone’s wall.




2. Start a Gratitude Jar or Journal.

Have a jar in a prominent part of your house surrounded by little pieces of paper that people can write on and place in the jar throughout the day.  Or write down each day what you are grateful for in a journal at the end of the night.





3. Notice the Good

-Compliment your neighbor, the cashier or the person standing next to you in line.  Notice their kindness.   Find something to compliment them on.   Seeing the face of a stranger light up when you pay them a compliment is one of the best things!  Compliment your spouse, your kids, your family.




4. Read/See that which Inspires you.

-Find articles, books, movies, that uplift.  Spend your money/time on that which uplifts, this sends a huge message.  Money talks.



5. Commit Random Acts of Kindness

-Pay for the coffee/lunch of the person behind you,  Rake your neighbors leaves.  Bake some cookies.


You may feel these are little things, but everything starts small in life and creates a ripple effect, especially as we are raising little ones.

What we focus on grows~










P.S. This month, I decided to unplug for the month of November.  Obviously I didn’t escape the news and plugged back in to write this, but let me say this…Just 6 days off of media changed my stress level and mind-frame, enough that I went from overwhelm back to hope and possibility!  Here’s what I shared on my page.  You are welcome to use it. 🙂




About The Author

Summer Brackhan

Mom, sociologist, teacher, author, musician, world traveler, parenting and health coach who believes healthy living incorporates body, mind and soul and that life is not about living in little boxes, but experiencing everything at its fullest.

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