The events of last weekend in my hometown of Pittsburgh sadden me.

I’m not naive enough to believe that I have an answer to the violence that occurs all too frequently in our country.

Tim Hindes Trailblaze Creative

Design by Tim Hindes, Trailblaze Creative

But, I do know this… we can do better.

Words matter.

The words we speak to ourselves matter.

The words we speak to others matter.

The words we repeat matter.

The shooter, Robert Bowers, repeatedly posted hateful messages online. He was supported by other like-minded people and his hateful spiral motivated him to a horrific act.

How do we stop this? We need to look at ourselves first.

Before any of us look to blame other groups for our current situation, we need to ask ourselves, “am I doing all that I could for myself and those around me?”

If the answer is, “no” then how can you change that.

In reality, most of the issues we get riled up about will never directly impact us. We fight, name call, threaten, and demean others. To what end? It poisons us. It blackens our souls. No good can come of it.

Nothing outside of you will change until you change first.

We need to stop blaming other groups for our problems.

What can we do to fix ourselves first?

What can we do to leave a positive mark each day?

Is your day defined by love and appreciation?

Be stronger than hate.

Keep moving forward.

Stronger Than Hate artwork by Tim Hindes, Trailblaze Creative