27 years??? WOW! MADD Ramsey/Washington is the first Victim Impact Panel I spoke on in January of 1991, so a little extra of my heart & soul goes into this Panel.
When I first joined MADD as a speaker, they called the Panels, "Victim Impact Panels", but later changed the name to "Impact Panels", because I was speaking on it (I'm not a "Victim", but an "Offender". I never liked the designation, "Offender", and referred to myself as a Past Offender, but even that designation seemed to compartmentalize my role into that of a "less than" team member. But I tolerated it, because of gaining access to others in danger of making the same mistake I made.
Today, my objectives have evolved. After speaking for 8 years, I started to love myself again and quit wanting to kill myself for my killing Little Timmy.
Now, I'm about overcoming Impaired-Driving through LOVE & FORGIVENESS as my central objective. Fear of consequences does not go far enough; if fear could do the trick, drunk driving would have solved itself long ago. We all know the potentially dire consequences of being impaired and driving, yet it still occurs with alarming frequency.
Simply put, because most truths are simple, my MADD Ministry is this thematic: "If you love someone, you will not hurt them (at least not on purpose). If you love yourself, you will not hurt yourself, either, by placing yourself in harm's way, which includes driving under the influence."
Is getting behind the wheel while impaired an act of love?
Love itself is the answer to ending impaired-driving, as I see it, but only when it rises to the level of CONSCIOUS LOVE. Parents LOVE their children, but the #1 killer of children who die in alcohol-impaired crashes in the USA, died at the hands of the ones who have the easiest access to them, the ones who love them the most, which is the parents. Because love didn't go far enough, we need to place emphasis on the need for CONSCIOUSNESS & LOVE. This means we need to RAISE OUR AWARENESS, think & feel on a higher level, one so powerful that we make a decision to preserve love BEFORE we party. Make the decision to get a sober driver while you are sober, i.e., before the party, not after you are impaired. Make love so powerful in your lives that it's impossible to get behind the wheel while impaired.
Conscious love is powerful, but only when it's used. Me, I would have cactus that would die of thirst when I was living the party life. Partying lowered my ability to love myself and others in a higher consciousness, meaningful way.
If you drive impaired and kill someone, "I didn't mean to do it" (a form of unconsciousness) doesn't go far enough. That's what kids say and occasionally, I'll hear someone who claims to be an adult say it. Yes, I killed someone while driving impaired, and yes, I didn't mean to do it. But I also didn't mean to drive sober!
Impaired driving can be avoided. It's COMPLETELY preventable. The death count can stop, but only if we learn to live on purpose.