In light of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida two weeks ago, Americans have had to ask themselves some very difficult questions. The answers to those questions are just as difficult.
Today, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced that not only will they be raising the minimum age limit for buying guns in their stores to 21, but they will also no longer sell assault style rifles or high-powered magazines. This is regardless of local, state or federal law.
I applaud the executives who made this decision. I’m sure they will lose some customers, but the fact that they have put people over profit is a sign that hopefully things are starting to change for the better.
Unlike certain politicians who take money from the NRA, the executives understand that we cannot continue to do nothing when it comes to mass shootings, especially mass school shootings. And if that means the store taking a financial hit to make a point, so be it. I applaud them and I hope to see more stores follow their example.
I want to tell you a story about risk and how taking a risk changed my life.
In May of 2014, I was looking for a new way to work out. Up until that point, I had a membership at the local gym, but I wasn’t putting in the effort and frankly, it showed.
As I was looking around for another form of exercise, I passed by a local martial arts school. I must have walked by it hundreds of times, but something stopped me that night. I walked in, asking for more information and the rest is history.
Earlier this evening. I earned my black belt in muy thai kick boxing. Taking a risk for me is never easy. The comfort zone sometimes is a little too comfortable.
“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”-Roy T. Bennett
Stepping out of my comfort zone and taking the risk to simply ask for more information was just the first step. There are some risks in my life that I regret taking, this is not one of them.
I encourage my readers to take a risk, at least once in a while. You never know where the risk will lead.
Today is the Jewish holiday on Purim.
Jews around the world dress up and celebrate the victory by Queen Esther over Haman, who was more than eager to rid Shushan of her Jewish population.
Esther, as both a woman and a member of a religious minority, had two strikes against her. But even though she had no power in the traditional sense, she had enough sense of self to stand up for who she was and what she believed in. Even, if it meant that her life would be in jeopardy.
We unfortunately live in a time and place where instead of celebrating our differences, we use them to divide ourselves. The lesson that I take from Purim, especially considering the current state of American culture is that if we want our country to flourish, we have to celebrate our differences. At this point in American history, we have two choices: divide and be conquered or come together and survive. Personally I would rather find a way for us to come together and survive. But that’s me.