“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”-Plato-
Today at eleven, as I walked on the treadmill, I observed a reverent moment of silence for the loss of precious lives in Arizona on Saturday. I slowed my pace and thought about the senseless loss of life, of promise, and of innocence.
Prior to this moment of silence and reflection, I spent some of my morning reading some of the Op-Eds in the national papers on the event. Everyone seemed to have a theory about the origin of this man’s hatred, the reasoning behind this horrid act of violence.
Some made it about political rhetoric, while others made it a mental health/health care issue. It seems we all wanted to have an explanation tied up in a neat little package on a Monday morning, so we could sleep better on Monday night, convinced we had answered the unanswerable question.
The answers are not that simple.
Now, this blog has never been political. At times, I have wanted to post things political, as I do have opinions that I want to be heard. Instead, I usually talk to my best friend or mother in law, two of the smartest ladies I know. I rant and rave, and I keep the politics out of the blog.
Why? This blog is personal to me. And, you don’t need to know my political affiliations to decide whether or not to read my words. You simply have to decide if you want to walk with me. Maybe you decided that you wanted to read along because you lost a child. Maybe you know me, or are forced to read this blog because you are related to me and could be quizzed at a family gathering. Or, perhaps you are like me, and want to spark a conversation on life, and how we are living it these days.
But, for whatever reason you show up, I can guarantee you that the biggest one is you focused on what we had in common. You read some of my words and you thought….she’s human just like me. Cellulite and grey hair, unbalanced budget and dust bunnies under her bed. She is just like me.
I believe, like so many others, that there are two emotions in this world.
Love and fear.
You’re either spreading one or the other. There is no grey area here. Not with this.
Loss presents us with an opportunity, a chance to see the reflection of our own lives through the death of another. We can, by witnessing the swift passage of another, take stock of where we are going on our own path, and readjust the GPS if necessary.
Take some time today, not figuring out who to blame, but rather reflecting on how you can help this world get to a better place, where things like this no longer happen. Ask yourself two important questions.
- Do I spend my time looking at and judging people by their similarities or differences to me?
- What am I spreading, love or fear?
There is a big mirror standing in front of this country on this Monday morning. I do hope we all take some time to look in it and readjust the GPS.
To the friends and families of those who died or were injured, my prayers are with you all.