So we can pick ourselves back up!
I have a friend who is especially sensitive to “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Days like today… I think we all feel that lump.
So, she got me thinking…
I was at the gym after work, watching the constant news coverage. Every machine around me was tuned to a different station. Nobody was watching Food Network this evening. All of us were there, trying to kill a little stress and seek a little normalcy, exercising our hearts out – just like so many runners had done earlier today before…
A celebration of life was cruelly interrupted.
As I was watching my screen – and taking little sneak peeks at some of the others around me – I was struck by how many people dove in to help the moment madness descended. In one shot, a runner came up to help a woman who was tending to an unseen victim. Within an instant, he ripped his shirt off and turned it into a makeshift tourniquet.
That’s what I take away from today. Selfless courage, sacrifice and bravery. Running in and doing your part to help a fellow person. Days like today linger for two reasons.
First, we bemoan our humanity when staring down inexplicable evil.
Then, we celebrate our humanity when we see the greatness so many of us are capable of.
Days like today make me want to be a better person.
It’s as simple as this. Bad things have happened FOREVER but they are the exception – not the rule. In twelve years, we’ve gathered around to try and understand why bombs explode and buildings crumble.
We only know these events so well because they are the anomalies. They are as far from the norm as you are ever want to get – so we linger. We watch to try and make sense of the senseless. And usually we come away completely clueless. We’ll never get it – we’ll never know what makes someone do something so heartless.
We’ll never understand why anyone wants to eclipse a brilliant, beautiful day. It happened today. It happened once before, on another crisp, blue September morn. Scenes like this have marred so many pleasant days.
Nobody, aside from weathermen, reports on the nice days (and even those guys would rather report on a blizzard). The nice days. The good tidings. The great times. They overwhelm the negative. We get a thousand beautiful days for every truly awful one. They just don’t make the news.
I remember in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, so many people swore they would never fly again. It’s said, there are roughly 87,000 flights every day in the United States. Since 9/11 – there have been approximately 381,060,000 flights in the United States (if I’m doing my math right). We remember the 3 that crashed that day. The other 381,059,997 flights are just business as usual. They took off, flew for a bit, and then landed safely at their destination. Just life going on the way it should.
How do we move on “When bad things happen to good people”? I believe the good simply outweigh the bad. The odds remain in our favor. But that’s just the surface.
I like to think in terms of memories – the only real currency worth holding onto. Why do we live this life but for the one simple reason – to create connections, experience things and make good memories. You can’t do that sitting in your house; shrinking before the ‘unseen horrors’ that bay at night. I firmly believe the good people vastly outnumber the bad; even if the latter like to holler a little louder than the lot of us.
When the rare bad thing happens to good people, like what we all witnessed today, I remind myself there’s only one thing I can truly do to honor their memory.
Keep on living for them.