One year ago, my boyfriend and I were assaulted and mugged at knifepoint, one block away from my old place. It was a very frightening experience. At the risk of making this blog more personal than I prefer, I’ll just say that it’s incredibly hard to wrap your head around how one human being could do something so vile, selfish, and hateful to another like that. If they had simply asked for the cash, I would have handed it right over – the violent stuff was an unnecessary ugly act.
However, what amazed me in the days, weeks, and months after it happened was the outpouring of love that came from this sixty-second, terrible moment. From the police officer who offered us iced tea back at the station, to my parents who were at my doorstep first thing the next morning, to my boss who sent flowers and gave me time off, to friends and family who called or visited in the aftermath, and to the many others who were so caring – it was overwhelmingly beautiful to see those numerous acts of love that came out of the woodwork in response to that single hateful act.
Since today is the “anniversary” of the event, I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I wanted to do something to celebrate surviving it, in every sense of the word. First, I planned to get a couples massage, as I thought this relaxing experience would be the antithesis to the stress that the terrible act incurred. But then, I decided that what would better suit my personality was to use the money I’ve been stashing away for the massage, plus a few simple hours out of this week, to spread the love – to show gratitude to those people whose love and kindness towards me, from this time last year and onward, has been so monumental.
Here’s where you guys come in – I’d like to use this little blog to create a “spread the love” week, and would like to ask you to celebrate and share the positivity with me. Basically, all this entails is to do at least one out-of-the-ordinary thing per day for one week that expresses love, kindness, or gratitude towards another person.
I’m asking you to embark on this with me because it would be amazing to know that one awful experience could become a platform for a bunch of positive, loving experiences, all across the globe, in many people’s lives. If you’re comfortable with blogging about your journey in spreading the love, that would be phenomenal – please leave your link in the comments, so that others can feel that love. If you’d rather keep it more personal, I would be ecstatic to receive an email from you about how you’re spreading the love this week. Or, if you’d prefer to keep it completely private, I respect that, and am more than happy just to silently know that there are readers out there injecting positivity into the lives of others. If you stumble upon this post late, don’t worry about it, just start your “spread the love week” whenever you choose -- timing is irrelevant.
As you spread the love, please do so in memory of Stephen. Earlier this summer, this young man with a kind heart and a great deal of promise (he was doing research and dreamed of going to med school) was murdered by the people who mugged him. He was on the phone with his mother when he was attacked, and she heard the whole awful thing happen, which is unimaginably sad. Nothing can undo this awful act that happened to Stephen and his family. But, I’d like to believe that if our little community joins blogging forces to actively spread the love in their own lives in honor of Stephen and everyone else out there who has been the victim of hateful, vicious, harmful acts, a much-needed special glimmer of positivity will start to emerge in the world.
Whew, this has been quite a post to write! I’ll be back later with a list of some of the plans and ideas I have for this Spread the Love week, plus throughout the week I will check in about my journey in spreading the love. I genuinely look forward to hearing about your journeys, too. Thanks for your support in this endeavor, I have a really great feeling about the amazing and good things that could come from this, to counteract the awful.
P.S. If you would like to grab a special "spread the love" blog button, here it is:
(Images via: me and here)