Things That Matter

Here’s How One 11-Year-Old El Paso Resident Is Trying to Bring Some Positive Light After A Horrible Mass Shooting

Ruben Martinez is an 11-year-old kid from El Paso, Texas and the shooting this past weekend impacted him like all Texans. He’s community was just attacked and his mother had to sit him down and explain what had happened. It was then that he knew he had to do something to help his community heal. His idea: the #ElPasoChallenge. Here’s what you need to know to participate.

On the morning of August 3, a white supremacist went to El Paso with the intention of shooting as many Mexicans as he could.

Credit: El Paso Police Department

Patrick Crusius, 21, entered a Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas and opened fire on shoppers. He killed 22 people and injured 24 with an assault rifle. The violent attack left the Latino community in fear when it was revealed that Crusius had traveled to El Paso to exact his act of terror on the Latino community.

While the community was grieving, 11-year-old Ruben Martinez went to his room and brainstormed a way to bring the people of El Paso together.

Credit: @rgandarilla99 / Twitter

Martinez’s idea is a challenge to promote kindness. He wants El Pasoans to commit one act of kindness for each person who was killed during the tragic shooting. The #ElPasoChallenge is that simple. Just help other people in the name and memory of the people who were murdered by a domestic terrorist.

If you aren’t sure how you can join, Martinez has laid out a few ways to do good for people.

Credit: @rgandarilla99 / Twitter

Here is what Martinez wrote to start his mission to help his community heal.

“#elpasoCHALLENGE”

“Purpose: To honor the people who got killed in our city.”

“How: I’ll challenge each person in El Paso to do 20 good deeds for each other.”

“Examples: Mow someone’s lawn, visit a nursing home, pay for someone’s lunch or dinner, donate to families in need, write someone a letter and tell them how great they are, hold the door for everyone, comfort someone when they are sad or stressed, take flowers to someone in the hospital, leave a dollar on the vending machine for the next person, and any other random act of kindness.”

“How to convince everyone to join the #elpasoCHALLENGE: Hold up posters, pass out flyers, sent it to Facebook.”

“This will show the world that people from El Paso, TX are kind and care for each other.”

The call to action from a child is pulling all of the heartstrings.

Credit: @summerprj / Twitter

“He was having some trouble dealing with what happened,” Gandarilla told CNN. “I explained to him that we could not live in fear and that people in our community are caring and loving. I told him to try and think of something he could do to make El Paso a little better.”

Gandarilla also proudly shared that her son already started on his acts of kindness.

Credit: @GynarchyLove / Twitter

“Last night, he agree(d) to go out to do his first act of kindness,” Gandarilla told CNN. “He chose to go deliver dinner to our first responders.”

The #elpasoCHALLENGE is reaching far out of Texas with people across the country joining the challenge.

Credit: @stlagogo / Twitter

The challenge might have been intended for the El Paso community, but it seems people all over want to make a difference. Martinez’s sweet and well-meaning gesture is something more of us should be trying to do in this world.

Way to go, Ruben! Your plan to spread the #elpasoCHALLENGE is working.

Credit: @HackeMom / Twitter

Let us know if you are joining Martinez’s #elpasoCHALLENGE. This kind of action from young people is so important in today’s dark and scary world.

READ: After A Mass Shooting In El Paso, ‘Amor Eterno’ Becomes An Anthem Bringing Latinx Communities Together

Watch This Little Dude Repeat His Adorable Self-Affirmations While Walking To School

Culture

Watch This Little Dude Repeat His Adorable Self-Affirmations While Walking To School

@yashar / Twitter

We all know what self-affirmations are. They are simple phrases we repeat to ourselves to undo negative thoughts or self-doubt that cna plague us or undermine our own goals. Self-affirmations can set us on a path that sets us up for success by keeping us accountable and positive through the ups and downs of life. One little boy seems to already know this and has gotten an early start on his own self-affirmations.

A young boy is going viral on Twitter for repeating his self-affirmations while walking to school.

Credit: @yashar / Twitter

“I am smart. I am blessed. I can do anything,” the little boy repeated as he walked to school. The simple, yet effective, practice of self-affirmations is scientifically proven to have a lasting, positive impact on a person’s mental well-being. So, it is safe to say that this little one is already off to a stronger start in life than most adults.

The video is encouraging people to start their own self-affirmation routines.

Credit: @maurametolove / Twitter

According to PositivePsychology.com, the act of self-affirmation is proven to manifest in a positive mental outlook on life. Self-affirmations let us take control of the global narrative we tell of ourselves and lets us be flexible and moral as we adapt to the ever-changing environment we are constantly in.

The video is striking an emotional chord with adults and children alike.

Credit: @Nors_Hussain / Twitter

It is never too early to start children on their path to positive thinking. There is a lot of stuff in the world that can hurt you and stunt your development. It is never a bad idea to get your own little ones started with positive self-affirmations and start the habit.

The overall cuteness level of the video is enough for some people to just celebrate.

One of the most important parts of the self-affirmation practice is the ability to create a more flexible and adapting self-identity. By creating this self-identity, it will keep you from thinking of yourself as one kind of person, such as a “writer” or “wife.” Being able to grow within yourself offers a freedom that can set you on whatever path you choose.

Some people on Twitter are even cosigning the little dude’s words to encourage him to keep going.

Keep it going, Ayaan. There is nothing that can stand in your way, little man. It is clear that you know that you are capable of doing anything you set yor mind to and that is one of life’s most valuable lessons. There are few things in this world more empowering than knowing you can do anything and letting yourself know that you can do anything.

Some people are even wanting to have their own kids now.

Credit: @HudsonRiverCroc / Twitter

While there is a movement in the millennial generation not to have children, Ayaan might be changing minds. Who doesn’t want a little dude who can show the world the power of self-affirmation? Maybe his own idea that he can do anything means he grows up to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.

His positivity is inspiring other people to be more positive in their own lives.

Credit: @crookson1506 / Twitter

It’s exciting what someone else’s own enthusiasm can do for other people. Some people are really into listening to little dude celebrate his own pathway to positive thinking.

Some people are not being fooled by the little boy.

Kids are not for everyone. That is okay. However, it is easy to see how this video would make some people want to have a little self-affirming dude of their own.

Basically, some people are just falling in love with the kid.

Credit: @AllisonRFloyd/ Twitter

It’s hard not to fall in love with this little one. His words and attitude are so inspiring.

Way to go, Ayaan!

Keep up those self-affirmations. They will take you far.

READ: This Elementary School Held A Flash Mob Where Kids Dressed Up And Danced To Selena And Celia Cruz And I’m Crying At My Desk

Kansas City Police Are Looking For Two Men Suspected Of Shooting Patrons Of A Tequila Bar

Things That Matter

Kansas City Police Are Looking For Two Men Suspected Of Shooting Patrons Of A Tequila Bar

Sherae Honeycutt / Facebook

It was a normal Saturday night for Tequila Kansas City Bar (TKC) bartender, Jose Valdez. He was serving new customers and old when a familiar, unwelcome face walked in at 11 p.m. asking for a drink. Valdez refused to serve the man, recalling the issues he’s caused the bar in the past. The man threw a glass at him and he was promptly escorted out. At 1:30 a.m., the same man walked back into the bar with a friend and handguns. Smoke filled the tiny room as they shot people at random.

Four Latino men were killed and five other victims were wounded. TKC is a private, members-only bar that has always been regarded as a “safe space” for the Latino community. Three of the slain were second-generation TKC patrons. Their parents were also members.

TKC usually staffs a security guard, but he didn’t show up that night.

Credit: @OfficialJoelF / Twitter

The owner of Tequila KC Bar told KMBC reporter Matt Evans that the bar scheduled a security guard that night, but “he never showed up.” Kansas City, Kansas Police confirmed that they had arrived on the scene earlier in the night. The suspect had picked a fight with someone as he was being escorted out and the two brawled outside. By the time the police arrived, the fight was over and they left.

Shock and adrenaline allowed the wounded to escape from the bar before the pain set in.

Credit: @ellemoxley / Twitter

Two hours later, the suspect arrived with an accomplice and handguns. Survivors recall hearing at least a dozen gunshots, and could barely see through the gun smoke.

“They went off so quick I didn’t think it was gunshots,” customer Michael Barajas told the Kansas City Star.

The two gunmen are still at large.

Credit: Kansas City Police Department

Police have released security camera images of the suspects, in hopes that anyone who recognizes them will come forward. Police have yet to name the suspects, and police spokesman Officer Thomas Tomasic told The Kansas City Star that he doesn’t believe the shooting was racially motivated. “It’s a pretty small bar,” Tomasic told the paper. “You have two guys come in, start shooting, people are just running. People are just running wherever they can.”

Victim Alfredo Calderon had a 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter to raise.

Credit: Alfredo Calderon / Facebook

While police haven’t released the names of any of the victims, some family members are coming forward to remember their deceased. Juan Ramirez told reporters that his 29-year-old nephew, Alfredo Calderon, died in the shooting. “We’re just in shock and disbelief,” Ramirez told The Kansas City Star, adding that his nephew had “nothing to do with it.”

This wasn’t bartender Valdez’s first shooting either. “I don’t know what to make of it,” he told The Kansas City Star, through tears. “A sad day for everybody who lost their lives and their families. How can you go into a place full of people and just start shooting?” He said he hugged his own niños Sunday morning, saying “pray to God I’m here.”

When a witness’s fiancé was shot, she tried to stop the bleeding and “held him till he took his last breath.”

Shay Celedon was at TKC with her best friend and her fiancé, both of whom have yet to be identified. Celedon said the two were waiting until after her niece’s quinceañera to get down to wedding planning hoping to tie the knot in October 2020. The three were enjoying their night until they witnessed the violent fight outside the bar. Celedon got a sinking feeling and decided to go home for fear that “something bad would happen.”

“None of it really seems real right now,” she told CNN. “We were sitting here yesterday evening having drinks with my best friend’s fiancé. I go home, go to bed, get woken up two hours later that he’s deceased, and she held him till he took his last breath, and tried to bring him back and keep pressure on his gunshot wound. And it was just one fatal shot that took him from us.”

Tequila Kansas City Bar “was a home away from home, you could say.”

Credit: Sherae Honeycutt / Facebook

Toni Maciel, 36, knew seven of the nine victims personally. While she returned to TKC the following day to be with her “TKC family” and community, she doesn’t feel safe anymore. Maciel knows the wife of the alleged shooter. During a karaoke night just two days prior, she witnessed him physically abuse his wife. Maciel intervened and asked him to leave. “This was a home away from home, you could say,” she told The Kansas City Star. “But after this, I don’t know what would happen with our community.”

Tequila Kansas City Bar hosted a vigil for the victim Sunday night at 7 p.m.

As we report on this story, the community is gathering around TKC to pay vigil to the deceased. Kansas Governor Laura Kelly released a statement saying she continues “to be frustrated that these mass shootings and killings occur with regular frequency. Our nation has an obligation to address this ongoing public health crisis.”

READ: Some People Claim This Sandy Hook PSA Has Gone “Too Far” In Illustrating the Impact of School Shootings