Wallpaper Download :: Courage. Conviction. Honor.

So this really isn’t a pattern, but that’s okay, because today’s wallpaper serves a different purpose. I generally don’t have a political agenda, but as I participated in my weekly creative exercise, it grew from just an exercise to something much greater—a personal, emotional investment.


I was in my favorite American city this past week, beautiful, Charleston, SC. As I walked with my parents down the Battery, reminiscing about the two times we had lived there and all of the silly family memories that were created there, I briskly passed a section of concrete that caught my eye. Camera in hand, I turned around and snapped a few photos of a spray painted graphic of a black gun shooting out a flag with a red heart on it.

Who knows who put this there, or what its original intention or meaning was, but right there in that moment, it hit home. In 2007, on April 16th, my sweet, beautiful, 18 year old next door neighbor, Reema Samaha’s, life was taken during the mass shooting at Virginia Tech University. Our entire tight knit neighborhood of Sully Station came together with love, support and sympathy for our neighborhood family along with the rest of the 31 victim’s families. Here I am, nearly six years later, with my two wonderful parents, enjoying a chilly afternoon, happy and full of life. Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for moments like these.

Courage. Conviction. Honor.

Since 2007, there have been more tragedies that spawned from gun violence. It is an unnecessary shame. To me, Reema’s family is a shining example of living life with courage, conviction & honor. Joe, Mona, Randa & Omar spend insurmountable time as gun control advocates. It is with courage that they wake up every morning and face the past. It is with conviction that they fearlessly fight day after day and campaign for gun control…and with HONOR that they remember and cherish the memories of the lost member of their family and continue on their quest for solutions to prevent further affliction.

We should all be so lucky as to have an amazing family, like the Samahas, be an example these values. On this holiday weekend, when we are all, very likely, enjoying our own families, in whatever way that is suitable for you, challenge yourself to live these values. Who knows, without even knowing it, you will probably provide inspiration to someone like your next door neighbor.


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