In our age of instant and continuous news, we were all immediately made aware of the horrific tornado that hit Moore, OK yesterday. As we sat and watched the images on TV, we just knew that there were struggles for survival, acts of heroism, and the anguish of loss all happening and all within a single camera frame. We find ourselves, very humanly, asking a resounding WHY?
Why do things like this happen? Why did so many young children have to be lost? We all have our suppositions and beliefs, but no real answers to questions like that. In an absence of answers, we are compelled to act – to help in anyway we can. Our most authentic humanity comes out and we all pitch in to do whatever we can – physically help the recovery, send money and supplies, send prayers and well wishes.
In these moments of stunning tragedy our humanity shows up big. We recognize, if only for the briefest of moments, that we humans are all traveling in the same “boat”. We are all subject to death. We are all subject to loss. We are all susceptible to the totally unexpected.
We have an innate sense that we can either lose ourselves in sadness over that fact or we can grasp each moment with zest and a determination to make the most of this precious life – a gift beyond all gifts.
For those closest to this event, the repercussions of this tornado will resonate for years to come. For the rest of us, we will move on in a few days to the next story, the next event, or become again distracted by things happening in our own world.
Here is what I wish for us all. May the surge of humanity we are feeling in this moment carry over into tomorrow. May it carry over into our daily lives. Why must we wait for tragedy to feel it? We lose it in our political, religious, economic, and ethnic differences. We forget it until a tragedy shakes us awake.
Let normal days be filled with our humanity. Let us remember our humanity and that of our adversary in every encounter we have out in the marketplace of ideas.