I Do This So This World Will Know That It Will Not Change Me

U.S. service members pledge allegiance with preschoolers.
U.S. service members pledge allegiance with preschoolers.

I do this so this world will know that it will not change me.

I don't remember much about the awful Oklahoma City bombing, except the overwhelming sense of both compassion and disbelief that watching the footage and hearing about it created. I do, however, remember 9-11 very well, as most everyone old enough does. I woke up to the alarm going off so that I could get ready for an 8am class. My roommate had the alarm set to music instead of the harsh beeping sound, only this particular morning there were voices. And, because there were voices, and because I was in such a drowsy state, I did not fully comprehend what I was hearing. I remember something about Air Force One still in the sky and problems with airplanes. It was not until I was fully awake and in class where people were talking about what was going on that it dawned on me. The rest of the day was filled with the images all over television and watching the second tower fall. This time, though, we turned the television off for awhile. It was simply too difficult to watch.

Now, I think back to a song that Garth Brooks released called "The Change." I believe the original music video was a tribute to the Oklahoma City bombing. At any rate, the words are powerful, and they stick with me, start to finish. Particularly, the second verse and the chorus:

This heart still believes that love and mercy still exist

While all the hatreds rage and so many say

That love is all but pointless in madness such as this

It's like trying to stop a fire with the moisture from a kiss

And I hear them saying you'll never change things

And no matter what you do it's still the same thing

But it's not the world that I am changing

I'll do this so this world will know that it will not change me

Reflecting on Memorial Day and what it really means, I think it is all the more important that people not let the trials and tribulations of the world change them. And that we remember those that serve have served or that do serve our country.

I Will Not Be Jaded

What, you think I'm immature?

Then of this let me assure

It's not reality that I don't see

I'm well aware of the cruelty

For how can I not be

When what it is I do see

Is that I refuse to become jaded

With memories of me faded

Even as some may cause fear

I will still be here

I have a heart, I have a soul

And both of them remain whole

Yes, there are those that are terroristic

But I will not be jaded nor pessimistic

Not as to the rest of the world it may apply

And certainly not as it applies to my own life

Life, circumstances, and reality

Will never be allowed to change me

I will still reach out to others

For they are my sisters and my brothers

I will look to God above

And cling tight to faith, hope, and love

The Change- A Cover of a Garth Brooks Song (since I can't find one of him singing it)

© 2013 Shannon

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Comments 30 comments

Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Oh Shan, I don't even know if I can handle this right now! Wow, girl this is beautiful. There isn't a person that this will not hit in the deepest place. I remember the same confusion and disbelief... I don't know if my heart has ever been heavier than it was on that day, my airforce brother was up in the air that day and we didn't know his whereabouts until the next day. That was just another horrible element, but watching the terror unfold before our eyes... I couldn't sleep for months, the sound of trains scared me and I swore I'd never take my kids to public functions again. We can't live like that and we won't! We will never forget, be we do not have to let it change us! This is beautiful, you're beautiful!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Aw, Cat. How scary that must've been for you! That song always hits me in a deep place.

You are beautiful, my kitty-cat-twin-sister-born-three-months-apart-separated-at-birth!

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Thank you for this important and timely reminder about the importance of not letting evil and cruelty and ignorance change who we are. We still need to cling to our beliefs and live by our morals. Sharing.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Yes, we do, phdsast7. Thank you for reading and for sharing. It is much appreciated.

Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

shan I know it was scary for all of us, I felt particularly vulernable living in NY, though I was a good few hours away, but like me, I'm sure you and much of the rest of America feared what was next, who was safe? It was very unfair how that day made us feel, that 's exactly why we can't let it change us and that you've accomlished wonderfully! Yes, I love the song and he has quite a few others that hit me pretty good too, like "We Shall Be Free", one of my favorites.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

My roommate's brother lived in NY, but I think he was not there at the time. You know, I was not even really afraid then. Even now, I really don't think about things like that or I would never go into a public crowd or mall. I just remember how very disturbing the loss of life was and empathy it all caused felt. It was enough to make anyone with a heart cry.

As for Garth, I like "We Shall Be Free" as well. I also like message that "The Dance" offers.

Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Oh, I was definitely looking over my shoulder... but I had an 8 month old then and I think a lot of fear comes in protecting them, you know? But, yeah, the footage, the voices of people being played over and over, I know you're a country girl but Enrique Iglesias' "Hero" tribute, made me bawl, definitely. It just seemed everywhere and I kept imagining what it was like for those poor people that jumped to their death and all the other people who didn't die instantly and the families of all that died and those people on the planes that knew they were going to die. I can barely stand to think about it now and that was over a decade ago, certainly doesn't feel like it.

Yeah, "The Dance" my cousin decided to play after my uncle's funeral at a gathering until my aunt yelled and insisted she shut if off because it was tooooo much for that day :D ... it was.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Aw...living in NY would probably have been a different story, but I can't really say. I tend to react to things more after the fact than as they are happening. After is when all the anxiety and emotions really hit.

I know what you mean about it still being hard to think about all of those things. But that is why so many people become jaded....to not think about it. And then things like that are all over the news. It's almost easier to put it out of the mind and not let it be an issue to cause such an effect.

I am a country girl, yes, but I listen to all kinds of genres of music and from various eras. I know the song you're talking about.

When my father-in-law passed they decided to play Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying" and "Daddy's Hands." I did not even know the man very well, but those two songs, especially the second almost had me reduced to tears.

Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

You're right... I've found myself avoiding the news to a certain extent lately, especially after one tragedy after another... the one that kind of put me over the top was the last school shooting, in Connecticut... I couldn't even breathe, that was horrible. But, we can't live on thoughts of these things, we are still alive and have lives to lead, the happier the better. You're a tough cookie and I give you a lot of credit!

Tim, good ol' Tim, yeah, I could see crying... Don't Take the Girl gets me emotional and what's that other one My Best Friend, gee, if you don't love someone it makes you wanna! :D

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Oh, girl, I don't even want to think about that either.

"Don't Take the Girl" is a good one and yes, "My Best Friend" will do that, but that is what I love about country...the lyrics are moving.

I don't cry often when I read something. Last time I did was when I read "The Shack", and I could barely get through the first few chapters, but a sad song will get a tear in a hurry...blame it on the haunting melodies? Reba's "All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go", "How Can I Help You Say Goodbye" by Patty Loveless or Blake Shelton's "The Baby." I could go on. LOL

And one I love about a love story is "Love Like Crazy" - Lee Brice. It's my ringback tone on my cell phone.

Tough cookie! Haha Not so much. I try to be strong when I have to be. But tough? Not so much.

Well, girl, I don't know about you, but I am off to bed. I can barely keep my eyes open! And you look kind of funny all cross-eyed. :-p

Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Yeah, I grew up in New York, unless you live in the sticks (which, I'm close) or your a redneck (...again, I'm close :-) "Country" is not the typical music played 'round here. But obviously even if you don't "listen" to country, there are songs that are just famous and make it everywhere. A couple of years ago, I moved away and my boyfriend was working at a garage where they listened to country. Next thing I know, he's got my car radio on country and my dining room radio on country. I got so mad... but then I said, "what the heck" and just let it stay... next thing you know... I was singing along to all the songs and swore I'd never go back. That is one thing I have to say about country, the stories, the lyrics... you can't help but be in a good mood listening to country, unless of course it's a sadder song and those moments are awesome too. Now, I'm back where I used to be and it's "whatever's on the radio" kind of thing. Oh, I cry to music all the time ha ha! Especially, when I'm out and about, driving, alone. If a song comes on that's at all touching... I'm crying!

I totally know where you're coming from! I'm gonna have "Love Like Crazy" stuck in my head for the rest of the night now :D

That's a good combination to be shan!

I'm off to bed too, I was thinking the same thing... I'm beat, you might not get this 'til morning, sorry for the delay. Ha ha.. some people think I look better cross-eyed!

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Wow, Shan,

Very profound and intense hub here. No, we must not allow them to change us. We will never conform to the world, never!!!

Powerful write here. Voted up ++++ and sharing

God bless, Faith Reaper

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, Faith Reaper. God bless you, too!

whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 3 years ago from United States

Excellent poem about "I Will not be Jaded", shanmarie. This poetry reflects a strong faith and powerful spirit. Thank you for sharing this positive message. whonu

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, whonu, for your support. :)

Cheryl 3 years ago

This was very powerful. Thanks Shannon, we will always remember.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Aw, thanks for visiting and commenting, Cheryl.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Okay, Cat....somehow I approved your comment and missed replying. . .

Nah. . . you don't look better cross-eyed. You look funny, both through my cross-eyed sleepy eyes and when your eyes are cross-eyed! :-p

"Love Like Crazy" always sticks in my head for awhile after I hear it. It's a song about a beautiful life-long love story! How could it not be touching? Plus, the chorus is just a nice message for everyone. Here, I'll write it out for you, and then you can sing it as you read! Tee-hee. How long will it stay in your mind today? :-p

Be a best friend, tell the truth

Overuse I love you

Go to work, do your best

Don't outsmart your common sense

Never let your prayin' knees get lazy

And love like crazy

Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Yeah, yeah... tell it to the judge :D

It is an awesome song and I don't think there's a more fitting voice for it. I gotta get scootin', I'm still waaaaay behind and I see you have a new hub up yet! Argh :D

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Arrrgh! My twin sister's a pirate! Haha...Yeah...Lee Brice has a great voice.

Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

This was wonderful with a great message. It is indeed so important to keep the faith and look toward God to help us recover.

Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Oh my goodness, I am too tired to laugh this hard!!! Arghhhh!

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks, Gypsy Rose.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Arghhhhhh. :D

sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

This is just an awesome hub for Memorial Day! I was on the phone with a co-worker who was just a few blocks away from the Murrah building when the bomb went off. I could hear it over the phone and then everything went dead. I was in Ardmore, about 100 miles away, we didn't know what happened until it hit the news. She called me back some hours later to let me know she was ok.

On September 11th, I had just walked into my favorite little coffee shop when I heard everyone talking about it. At the time, no one was thinking about terrorism, it had to be some type of horrible accident. Now, whenever anything happens, terrorism is the first thing we think about.

It has changed us somewhat. But, we have not become jaded, we have become stronger, smarter and more compassionate!

This is a wonderful hub and your words are so moving! Voting this up, awesome, beautiful and sharing!

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you so much for sharing. I am familiar with Ardmore. I've been there a few times, and I used to live in Durant. I can't imagine how scary that must've been to hear it go off and not know what happened to your friend and then to find out on the news and not know if she was alright.

Yes, terrorism is definitely the first thing to come to mind now whenever any kind of major incident happens. It's almost as if now, instead of proving it was not an accident, it must be proved that it was an acccident and not terrorism of any kind. And I'm anti-war, but it is still a battle, whether or not actual fighting occurs. It's a battle to hold onto the human spirit of compassion and caring instead of fear and violence.

I'm reminded of events like these on Memorial Day because, even though I may not agree with every fight America picks in the nane of defending our citizens and principles, so many from the armed forces respond to the call for rescue and aid. They and others also get called away from their families because of duty to their country when it calls.

MrsBrownsParlour profile image

MrsBrownsParlour 3 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

This is a wonderful piece, Shannon...I love your introduction, the song connection, and your poem! Your title is perfect and your message is so important.

I would venture to guess that everyone in America and many, many people internationally can remember clearly what they were doing when the realization of 9/11 hit.

Trauma can change us, even without our consent. Holding on to hope and joy and faith and dreams allows us to mature with an open heart though....we may *change* naturally as we grow, but resilience keeps us from letting trauma define us.

Great job!! :-) Lurana

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, Lurana. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. We do change as we grow, but certain values should not change.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

The fact that you have a Garth video is astounding enough, but then your poem hits us all right between the eyes. That's the danger of all this, isn't it? That we become jaded...that maybe we turn off our emotions a bit and accept this insanity as the norm....once we do that as a society then we've lost the battle. Beautiful work, Shannon.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 4 months ago from Texas Author

I love Garth Brooks. If I could've found a video of him singing that song instead of some cover version, I would have used it. As I recall, you used one of his songs in your book. "Standing Outside the Fire" I think were the lyrics you used. Another excellent Garth song. I even thought of using that song in a hub, but haven't yet.

Yes, it is a scary danger when society starts accepting violence as the norm. Yet isn't that what we're almost doing every day when we choose to go on about our business as if nothing is happening, refusing to be afraid. We can't live in fear any more than we should accept it as the norm.And then you have people refusing to accept it by meeting violence with more violence as if that solves anything. It's getting harder to tell what is normal anymore. But I still don't want to become jaded because the moment I stop caring about the world around me and start forgetting that others are humans too with families and emotions. . the moment all compation and empathy is gone. . .that would be the death of me.

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