If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium is the title of a movie from the 60s that I saw as a kid. I don’t remember much about it, but the title stuck with me all these years and it always made me want to travel to Europe. Fast-forward several decades, and my family has done a little traveling in the states and abroad. Giving my children experiences has always brought me greater joy and pride than giving them things.
Because my daughter loves traveling as well, she recently announced her interest in studying abroad a semester when she is in college. A few weeks ago, I thought studying in France would be a tremendous opportunity, but now recent events has given me mixed emotions about the safety of foreign travels and studies.
Last week I read about a victim from the tragedy in France that really hit home with me. Her name was Nohemi Gonzalez and she was a design student from California, probably living her dream to study in Paris. She was out having dinner when she became a victim with so many others. As a parent I cannot imagine how difficult it is for anyone to lose their child, especially in such a tragic and brutal way that makes news around the world. We want to believe we will always be able to protect our children, but the most we can hope for is that we did our job in raising them so that they take care of themselves and make their mark on the world.
These days it is getting harder and harder to rest my head on my pillow after hearing the news of the day. Violence at home and across the world is common place. I worry that people are becoming desensitized because they hear these stories daily, and not enough of the “feel-good” stories to balance things out. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Some days those things that are within our control are the only things that can make a difference. Here are the things I try to do to maintain balanced karma in my life, and hopefully I can make a difference for someone else along the way.
- Be positive.
- Be kind.
- Express gratitude.
- Choose joy.
- Love one another.
I plan to continue to travel and experience all our wonderful world has to offer, including Belgium and France some day. As we approach the holiday season and reflect upon those things in our lives that we are most thankful for, what is it that you do to maintain balance?