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June 15, 2016

THOUGHTS ON ORLANDO

IN THE WAKE OF THESE LATEST SHOOTINGS, WE MUST WORK TOGETHER IN BETTER WAYS.
I really debated on whether or not I was going to comment on the Orlando shootings because my perspective is always going to be in disagreement with others especially here on Social Media. Like in most things we band together with like minds, and we reject the opinions of those we disagree with.
My feelings on the Orlando shootings are like most I have heard from, like them, I am filled with sadness, horror, disbelief and a feeling of helplessness. The fact that it was a Gay nightclub where my friends in Orlando hang out, makes it feel even closer. I called my closest friend in Orlando when I woke up the morning of the shootings to see chaos on the television. He was my first thought because he is a gay man and a event and party producer in Orlando who helped me produce “The Art of Active Networking” a few years ago at a nightclub in Orlando. One of his close friends is dead, one of his employees boyfriend was in surgery when I called, and he had other friends he had still not heard from. He was my first thought when I saw the news. As you might imagine he was in shock as he could hear the sirens, helicopters and first responders from his balcony.
We must ban together and support one and other in good times and bad. “The Art of Active Networking” is about giving to each other to help them do better. Right now I don’t know how to give, other than to offer love. I feel much the same way as I did after 911, a bit helpless to be honest. One of the news reports said that first responders entered the club after the shooter was killed and cell phones could be heard ringing in the pockets of the victims…that is the image that sticks in my head.
I will say this. No matter what you care about, care about the strangers we lost. Care about working together to find ways in the country to reduce gun violence and access to certain types of weapons. Before the conservatives on my list began calling me out as they always do when we kill each other with guns, be mindful that I like you am in support of our constitutional right to bear arms. I am not suggesting we trample our rights, once we do that we lose everything we hold dear, but we MUST engage in a solutions based conversation that moves us towards solutions vs being in complete inaction as we are now. Don't let hatred grip you, don't let your religion defeat you, be a human, love, weep and support each other as humans must.
In this country we take extreme positions, we either love or we hate, we either build or we destroy, we enthusiastically agree or we violently rebel. But maybe we can all take a step back to see the beauty in collaborative compromise. Maybe there is a way we can all win before we make a call to a friend the simply goes to voicemail as they lay dead in a place where all they were doing was having fun. A Sacramento preacher has called for more killing...a Preacher!!!!! This is inhuman. We cannot tolerate or fall to rampant hatred.
We cannot control crazy, we cannot control extremists, we cannot control hatred! We can vote, we can educate and can do what we do best which is to band together and think, act and create solutions that can reduce suffering. And we can do it with all of our rights and protections in tact. We must! We are human, this could be you on another hateful day from someone who hates what you are about.
Please call someone you love today, reach out to help someone in a struggle, support those suffering, and think of at least one thing you can do to help someone you meet to do a little better right now!
Sending my best thoughts today to you, to everyone impacted by these latest murders. Please feel free to share this if so inclined, then go help someone else do a little better tomorrow!
Mark E. Sackett
#MYGIVE4
www.theartofactivenetworking.com
www.MarkESackett.com
415-602-9500
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