What a rough week! It’s bad enough when horrific things happen; do we really need to respond to them with vitriol and hate? Sure, I’ve seen my fair share of loving and supportive messages, but the conversation turns all too quickly to bigotry and blame. Forty-nine people died in a nightclub last weekend. Forty-nine! At a nightclub!! Not because a stage collapsed or a fire started – though, that certainly wouldn’t have made the loss any less tragic – but 49 people died because someone thought these particular clubgoers didn’t deserve to be alive. It didn’t matter that they were amongst friends and allies. Minding their own business. Not getting in anyone’s faces. Not making a scene. Plain and simply, having fun.
When I heard about the massacre, I didn’t think of guns or explosives or terrorists or zealots or madmen or psychopaths…I thought of a wonderful night gone terribly wrong, of friends and parents and brothers and sisters and children and coworkers, and strangers even, who all lost someone important in an instant. As details emerged, I mourned for an entire community who would instantly feel even less safe than they had the night before.
Where is the sadness and sympathy and compassion that follows horrible moments like this? Singular moments that change, disrupt, threaten, ruin – and end – lives? Not that there weren’t plenty of folks standing in line for hours to donate blood, or making donations, or gathering at vigils to pray and sing and cling to each other. But why in these times do so many get caught up in themselves?
I’m certain the answer is fear, but it can’t be. We can’t afford any more fear. The response to these situations really must be love. The best solutions, positive solutions, come from caring. Caring for our fellow humans. Caring for our world. Caring enough to protect everyone, not just ourselves. It’s easy to mistake fear and love, but I ask you to pay close attention. Pay attention to your response. Pay attention to other’s responses. I know it’s tempting to stand your ground and fight the fight you’re familiar with. But, is what you’re doing helping?
I certainly don’t have all the answers and struggle with finding a productive response myself. The only thing I really know for sure is that these scenarios have happened many times before, and our fear response hasn’t prevented them from happening again. We’re smarter than that. We’re better than that. We must start by being courageous enough to honestly care, then work together to sort out the solution.
A few positive stories from the week for inspiration…
My goodness! Given my disaster head, I’ve had many visions of people falling into subway tracks, but in our time in The Big Apple, I thankfully never saw it happen. New Yorkers tend to get a bad rap, yet it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest to see them the subject of this feel good story.
Adoption is a happy time, but I suspect that the legalities can be pretty scary for a young child. How thoughtful that an entire courtroom dressed as Disney princesses (plus a prince) for this little girl’s adoption hearing. It was no doubt her most magical day ever – in so many ways!
As I’m sure many couples do, RF and I contemplated every size of wedding from 2 to 200. Twenty turned out to be just perfect for us. This couple’s sweet story about eloping reminds, “There are as many ways to celebrate a marriage as there are couples getting married…no matter how you celebrate, you’ll still be married afterwards.”
Now Watching: Orange is the New Black
Now Reading: Maybe It Was the Distance – Jonathan Safran Foer
Now Listening: We Can Work It Out – The Beatles