In The News
When The World Seems So Out of Control
I am so outspoken on so many things, but when it comes to very tragic events, it sometimes takes the wind out of me and forces me into a cocoon of silence.
The Travyon Martin tragedy was one that I spoke on most because each time I looked at images of the young boy’s face, I saw my son. The fact that it was so targeted, so calculated, made this tragedy one that felt too close to home.
The tragic events that took place in Aurora, CO this past week felt very much like that – calculated, targeted, and I think this time around, I just didn’t have it in me to join the masses in discussion.
It was too sad. Too unexpected. Too much.
Yes, too much. As if the fear and sadness over Columbine managed to resurface all over again, only 20 miles away. The conversations on gun control suddenly take over and then political debaters use the lost lives and devastation as tools for one argument or another, forgetting that someone lost a friend, a son, a daughter, a sister, and a brother.
I think about tragedies in the past and how my family would run to church to pray. I think about how these things would serve as ammunition for a bigger agenda – in their case to argue against homosexuality, infidelity, and disobedient children. I remember as a child wondering what the world was like “before it became full of sinners and non-believers”. Those looking to push their agendas – whether political or religious – would have us believe that humanity in this world is at the brink of nonexistence.
But, the truth is, it’s not. We just have so much more access to the information, so much quicker, at a much larger scale. And, sadly, tragedy sells, so we get more of it.
Instead, I haven’t watched or read much about it. I refused to watch the news or read the paper. I did however put my focus on one particular young man, Jarell Brooks not much older than Trayvon Martin, who while trying to escape, stayed to help Patricia Lagaretta and her children. Or Jon Blunk, who in shielding his girlfriend from bullets, lost his own life. On Stephanie Davies, who stayed with her friend Allie Young who was injured during the shooting, never leaving her side, even while the gunman kept shooting. There are so many others like them that I refuse to focus all my attention on the one that brought all this sadness to life.
I focus on this because amidst all this tragedy, it is that one action to help another that allows me to believe that all hope is not lost, that what I am teaching my children, the considerations and respect I try to instill in them for all, won’t stand alone in a world that often times seems so out of control.
There are still good people out there. Heroic people, kind people who don’t often look like we expect or live and believe the way we do – but in moments of need, they are there.
And in this world of information overload where tragedy sells ads, I am instead choosing to focus on the more positive stories, on the people who give me hope even when it seems there is none. My heart aches for all those families in Aurora. I doubt I will ever walk into a movie theater without thinking of their tragedy.
I thank people like the ones mentioned above that remind us all of what the human spirit is capable of.