My daughter witness the death of a squirrel yesterday.

On our bikes, leaving her swimming lessons, she watched a car run over this tiny creature. I heard her exclamation, looked over in time to see it's last bit of twitching, then asked her if she needed to stop.

The tears were bitter and plentiful, and as I held her and let her cry, the above quote circled through my brain.

The world we live in constantly bombards us with images and stories of sensational highs and lows. Everything is dramatized, to the point that we forget how to react to the simpler truths of life and living. We look for flawless women and despicable men, for extremes of success and failure. And we forget or ignore the middle ground.

Every life is precious and worthy of respect and dignity.

Four days have passed since Trayvon Martin's killer was declared "Not Guilty." In that time, I've cried and raged and wondered what I can do. I've signed petitions to encourage the Department of Justice to bring a Civil Rights trial against George Zimmerman. I've been as horrified by Lavar Burton's use of the words "every time" (I'd never thought about how frequently Black men might get pulled over) as about the consequences he might face if he didn't rely on his ritual. I've grieved for the hundreds of human beings, and especially women and girls, whose deaths have been shrugged off or ignored, their names fading into the vastness of our global memory simply because of the color of their skin.

And I've read articles on that offer relevant actions.

There are big, huge problems in this country when it comes to issues of race. Problems so large that I, in my bubble of white privilege, don't and possibly can't fully comprehend them. But I fall back on the idea that small changes ripple outward. I don't have to change the world. Only myself.

The first step, as I see it, is to walk on the earth. To be present in the time and space that I occupy and to see what is happening around me. To listen when someone points out what I've missed. And to intentionally and explicitly honor and respect every life around me.