Lessons Learned from a Mother’s Inspiring Words

We went to sleep last night with news of yet another deadly vehicle attack, this time in Barcelona, and awake to the stories of devastation and loss of life.

This singular act of violence cannot disappear into the dozens of similar attacks across Europe and here at home in Charlottesville. For me, each incident stands alone as a mark on our progress toward a greater good. Each one reaffirms that hate is real and alive in our world.

Heather Heyer – the victim of Saturday’s car attack in Charlottesville – was remembered by loved ones at her memorial on Wednesday as an individual with a mind set on equality, a heart focused on love, and a keen sense for identifying the rights and wrongs in the world.

It was a message from her grieving mother that struck a chord nationwide and reminded us all of the importance of doing your part to improve the space around you. It rings true again today in the wake of Barcelona.

Susan Bro challenged all of us to carry her daughter’s legacy forward. To seek out injustices and ask ourselves, “What is there I can do to make the world a better place?”

The truth is, Southeast Louisiana is a community struggling with systemic issues – rising water, rising poverty, and rising tensions. It’s gritty and it’s real and difficult to witness.

Today, I am echoing Susan Bro’s challenge – “Find what’s wrong. Don’t ignore it, don’t look the other way…make a point to look at it and say to yourself, ‘What can I do to make a difference?’”

We understand that change doesn’t happen alone and we will win by forging unlikely partnerships.

Our community will make the most progress when every one of us can contribute and share ideas, and have their basic rights and dignity respected.

Now, more than ever, we must embrace ideas that unify us and make us stronger – ideas which will not end with Heather’s passing or in the aftermath of Barcelona. 

Thank you, Susan and Heather, for reminding us all to aspire to be best versions of ourselves and that love is alive in the world.

We have one life to live, to live better, we must live United.