In our age of instant and continuous news, we are all immediately made aware of horrific events and tragedies in our world. As we sit and watch these events, often live, on TV and the Internet, we know there are 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 do so many innocent people have to be harmed and die? 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 these events, the repercussions of these events resonate for years to come. For the rest of us, we typically move on with the change of the news cycle in a few days 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 feel in these moments carry over beyond them. 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 again 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.