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Alright. Hi everyone. It’s Marie Forleo and my beautiful sister Glennon Doyle. We are here today because we want to talk about this beautiful love flash mob that we’re doing that is launching today.
So we’re gonna start off with telling you about the focus of this particular love flash mob, and it is the opioid crisis. Now, Glennon, when you – ya’ll emailed me and shared that this was gonna be our focus. I have to tell you, it was an instant yes for me. This is a topic that’s been in the news for years now, and obviously we’ve heard more about it this year than any other year because it’s reaching such a level. It’s a crisis. Tell me why you wanted to focus here right now.
It is the – it’s the next right thing for caring people of conscience in this country. I mean, the statistics about what’s happening in the – in America with opioids and kids is staggering when you get into it. I mean, the opioid overdose at this point kills more Americans under the age of 50 than gun violence, than car accidents even. I mean our inner city – our cities, our rural cities and inner cities, are just ravaged right now and people are losing their children and their sisters and their brothers. And people aren’t talking about it, because there’s so much stigma still attached to addiction.
And that’s the other reason why this is an important story to tell right now, because these babies are victims of disease. I myself am a recovering addict, and I know how hard it is to get help. For a while, I mean, we’ve been researching this for months and months and months. We knew this was the next right thing for this country. If you are an American paying attention to the news and you care about children and you care about hurting people, this is the place to focus right now.
And the other thing, Marie, is right now things are so hard and so divisive and everybody is yelling at each other. Right now I think the next right thing is for all of us to just to get involved in a project that has to do with service and love and taking care of each other and, you know, loving people before we decide whether they’re worth it.
Grace and love doesn’t, you know, make a checklist before we decide who’s worthy of our support and love. It’s just their existence as our human family. Right?
Yeah. When I was doing research on this myself I came across some statistics that just floored me. You know, it says in 2016 more than 64,000 people died of drug overdoses in America, and synthetic opioids were topping the other causes, topping everything. And that’s a higher death toll than guns, car crashes, HIV/AIDS, all of them combined ever killed in one year. It’s also a higher death toll than all US military casualties in the Vietnam and Iraq war combined. This is real.
That’s what we’re talking about. Right.
You think about 9/11.
9/11 was such a tragedy and we talk about it all the time, but if you look at the opioid statistics, we lose enough Americans to make a 9/11 every three weeks in our country right now. So it’s time for us to – and you know, Marie, you and I care also about – we care about raising money and we care about helping people. We also care about telling stories that are important.
You know, I think right now we’re in this – our country is in a fever pitch and we think we have two options, fight or flight. Right? We have to add fuel to the fire, make everything worse by being nasty, or we have to hide from it all.
Watch more cat YouTube videos. But those two options suck. There is a third way. Right? There’s fight, flight, and then there’s invite. Like, we can do something together that is beautiful because the world is not changed by our opinions, but it is changed by our love.
And our actions.
And our actions. Right. So that’s what we’re doing today. We’re getting into action.
Yes. So tell us about – okay. So another thing I want to mention, because I feel so blessed that there’s folks all around the world who read my emails and watch our show and pay attention. And one thing I do want to mention, you know, if anyone outside the US is watching this right now and going, “Wow, this is really an American problem. I should just tune out. This doesn’t matter to me.” It really does matter to you, and here’s why.
First of all, concretely the opioid crisis is starting to bleed into Canada. And you’d better know that these pharmaceutical companies are doing everything in their power to start selling internationally, so the rest of the world, this is coming. I do not expect this to stay contained in the US.
The second thing though is you can use this conversation and this invitation as an opportunity to take a look around your world. Even if you don’t want to join in our particular flash mob, which we would love you to, we want you to be able to use this as an opportunity to catalyze yourself and take action on something that matters. To look around your community, to look around something where you see suffering, you see pain, you see real human beings who need help. And rather than say “oh, gosh. That’s heartbreaking.” To step up and step in and say, “What can I do to help? What’s the next right thing?”
Yeah, because we know heartbreak is a clue.
Right? Heartbreak is your clue that that’s what you’re meant to do. So whatever breaks your heart, you run towards it.
So tell us, just give me a word or two about some of our goals for this flash mob.
Okay, so my team at Together Rising went to visit this amazing home that was created by a woman in New Hampshire whose son had overdosed. She was a nurse, her town was just ravaged by opioid addiction. And she – a girl came to her office who was pregnant, and she had nowhere to turn her to because there’s no services for girls and women and mothers. So she basically she put a notice on Facebook and said, “Help. My heart is broken. What do I do?” And of course when we do that, when we reach out to our communities everybody else says, “Me too.”
So another woman who was a doctor said, “My heart’s broken too. Let’s start a home. We can use my house. I’ll move out.” She moved her whole family out. She moved her whole house. Her whole family out of her house. Okay? Alright. So there are amazing people in this world.
So they started this home. Anyway, they created this place called Hope on Haven Hill. We went and visited, we held the babies, we held the mamas. Warriors there. What’s important to remember about these babies, Marie, is that, you know, many of us think, “why do they to drugs? Why? Just say no.” Well, many of these women that we met, these young women, were born into addiction. Okay? This is a cycle. These are generations. I think about my own addiction, I got off a path that all I had to do is come back to the path. Right? To my – that my parents had made for me.
These kids have no path. Right? They’re pioneers. They are creating – trying to create lives for their babies that they’ve never even seen before. Right? They’re warriors. And so we – they graduate from this program in Hope on Haven Hill that we went and said, “What’s the next right thing for you? What do you need? And they said “we need a transitional home. Because these girls graduate, and they’re gonna go straight back to the streets after all the work they’ve done.” There are no transitional homes for girls in recovery and their babies where they can stay together, where the babies can stay together. None in New Hampshire. So we’re gonna buy them a house today. We’re gonna buy them a house this day. And, Marie, you have to show them somewhere on this fancy screen that I know – you have to show them this house. Because it’s…
I will. We’ll put links, we’ll put pictures in the blog post. We’ll have everything so people can check out all the details.
It’s so precious and it’s got this big front porch, and I just want these girls to just walk in there and have a safe place to be loved. A family. They haven’t had a family. The girls that they go through recovery with are their family, and so this is the next right thing for them. Also Marie, I think an important thing to note is that the more we research this opioid crisis the more we realize this is very parallel to the heroin and crack crisis of the 80’s and the 90’s.
The difference is that back then we declared a war on drugs. Okay? And since there was a war on drugs, most of the money and funding went to criminalizing addiction and jails. Okay? It didn’t work. Shocker. So now that this is mostly a rural, white problem we’re calling it a crisis. Right? Because when there’s a war there’s enemies to fear. When there’s a crisis there are victims to help. So there are many, many class and race issues involved in here.
The great news about that is that we realized this is not new. The people have been serving beautifully this addiction crisis in the inner cities forever. So we also went to Baltimore to a place called Martha’s Place in the inner city. These women taught us so much about recovery. You’ll learn all about it in the post, but we are also going to fund salaries for women at this Martha’s Place that have been doing this work for so beautifully for so long. And we’re gonna keep this dream alive that they’ve been working their butts off forever there. So we’re gonna serve Hope on Haven Hill, we’re gonna serve Martha’s Place, and we’re gonna just like create hope.
That’s what this is all about just like doing hope.
Doing hope, and giving people a real chance to break a cycle, to get back on their feet, and to create that ripple effect of possibility that each of us needs so terribly. And, you know, I read something else that really struck me. They said “it’s easier in America to get high than to get help.” And that’s true. It’s easier to get high than to get help.
So many news reports that I’ve watched that have cracked my heart open have been young women watching them and saying they want help, and there’s no place for them to go. They want to stop, and there’s nowhere that they can get to that will help them. So I love that we’re doing this. And, again, I know I said this a little earlier, even if you don’t join our flash mob, which I want you to do so badly, join us. This is so much fun and it’s so good and give whatever you can. You can also use your voice if financially you’re not able to donate. Use your voice. Spread this video. Spread this blog post. Spread it around wherever. Gather your friends together.
Or if for whatever reason this doesn’t align with your heart, use this as an opportunity to take all that love that you have inside, all that desire to make the world a better place, and don’t wait for some day. Don’t wait for some fictional time in the future when you think that you’ll be more capable or that you’ll have more money or more resources or more influence. Now is the perfect time.
You know, one of these quotes that I found when I was just popping around in the internet, Glennon, was that – and it’s kind of an interesting quote, because I’m usually always sharing things that are positive. But it went something like this. “The ugliest thing ever is a human being without compassion.” And something struck me in that, and it had these images pop up of just when each of us can go in and pretend that we don’t see what’s happening around us. And that we close off our hearts. Yes.
Yup. And let me add one thing to that. I’m so glad you said that. And I think that the difference between compassion and pity to me is so important. So pity is “I feel bad for you.” So helpful. Right? “I feel sad. I feel so sad. I’m sad.” Like, great. Pity is your pain in my heart. Compassion is different. Compassion is your pain in my heart and back out through my hands. Right? Compassion has – you are not a compassionate person unless you turn the energy and the fire and the heartbreak inside of you into action.
Otherwise you’re just someone who sympathizes. And we need people of action. So do – you’re exactly right. Do something today. Join our flash mob. We want you to join us. We think this is the right story.
If you don’t want to join us, join something. Do something. Be a person of compassion. That’s what we need right now.
Glennon, I love you so much. I love that we do this together. This is the perfect time. Thank you for making the time to share the stories, to give us the details, to do all of the work that you do. Your organization, you as a human being, you know you’re my soul sister. But all of the work that you guys do behind the scenes, for everyone watching, I’m in on the emails. I see it. I see like just a tiny fraction. And it is absolutely incredible. So my sister, I love you. For everyone watching, thank you for taking the time to hear this. Join us in this love flash mob. You will not regret it. We are gonna change lives and we are gonna do the next right thing. Thank you so much.
That’s right. Marie, thank you for your heart and your spirit. You’re such an angel.
We love you guys.
Thank you, bye.