Wake Up Call! – Responding to the Killings


Our reactions to violence and killing are gritty; how we respond can light a path forward.

My heart aches at the most recent killings and images from Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas; the tears come easily.  One of many ways of working through my reactions and make some small offering to others was in a social media post – In the midst of fear light a candle to remember that the light always triumphs. One person wrote to say the darkness felt too overwhelming to her to imagine it ever ending.

Her response is real and raw but it can live alongside the choice to light a candle.

In lighting a candle I’m reminded I am not alone; the light that is discovered in the lives of others joins together with the light of your life and mine.

The light reveals that the hatred or illness driving the killings is a murky despicable choice; our collective light inspires acts of courage. What will you and I choose today and each day? What goodness will we notice?


  • Light a candle and speak out loud the name of a person killed because they are black and imagine he is your son, brother, friend, father or neighbor;
  • Light a candle and speak out loud the name of a person killed because they are a police offer and imagine she or he is your child, sibling, friend , parent or neighbor;

Notice how the lighting of candles encourages your courage.

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©2016 Robert V. Taylor

Written by Robert Taylor