Color.

One year ago, five peace protectors lost their lives in the line of duty. You can read the story here.

Sometimes police and even entire departments can get a bad rap. Often when we hear of an incident it’s far enough from our home that it hurts… but maybe not as much as it should.

This incident was right in our backyard, and our police officers were doing nothing wrong.

I was stunned. Much like Hurricane Katrina, it was one of the few nights of my life that I spent super-glued to the television. I was in disbelief. I was hurting for them. As it dragged on, and on, and on, I just wanted it to be over.

Then, suddenly, it was. It was over… and so were five other lives.

I had just started writing songs a few months before. This was something that deserved all that my new talents could muster.

In my heart, all I could think about was that I wanted to sit in the corner and color. I wanted to be innocent like a child–I wanted to hide away from all this pain around me.

Color… the word has so many meanings. It can be a verb, with markers (or Cray-Pas, or a pen). It can be a person’s skin. It can be that magic stuff on TV that makes everything not black and white.

The song grew like… well, picture a pile of kids’ watercolor paints, left underneath a dripping faucet, on a concrete patio. The song… the colors… in my heart, in the song… spread like that.

I have the utmost respect for our police and our other protectors, and I hope you do too. They see more gruesome things on a daily basis than you see on TV–and it’s a thousand times worse, because it’s real. They have people scream and swear at them, and they have to remain calm. They get punches–and bullets–thrown at them, and every moment they are clocked in they pray that their instincts help them make the right decision in every single given moment.

Buy a cop a coffee. Say hello and smile–don’t shrink away from them. As you walk past, just take the time to glance into their eyes and say, “thanks for all you do.” Every chance you get to make contact with another human being has the opportunity to change the rest of their lives.

Fill your world with color.

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About Susan Pitman

Susan is an artist who grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Texas. She writes songs, short stories, and books. You can follow @susanpitman143 on Twitter.

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