The shooting in Arizona has passed from the headlines. Memorials have come and gone. The flowers, cards, and messages of support laid at the scene have been cleared away. The families of those who have died are just beginning their grief, and their attempts at making sense of this tragedy have left them at a loss.
And when we look back at this occurrence we burrow through the wreckage for answers, trying to locate some hints at a reason. We search, we look around, and we ultimately crash against this impenetrable wall of madness. There are no explanations to be had, no insights discovered. We will never find an adequate answer to the question, “Why?”
An event like this is a shock to the system. It gives us cause to reflect on how this incident affects us. Whenever a tragedy of this scope occurs we give a moment’s pause to our own lives: We take a quick inventory, maybe only a second or two, and think about the lives close to us. We wonder, if only a moment, if they’re all OK, if the members of our families are still with us. For a flash of an instant we think of our friends and take account of their lives and their presence.
And when we realize that everybody in our life is fine, we put the incident out of our heads. It is yesterday’s news and its impact is gone. We take nothing good from this awfulness. We apply no change. We are the same person we always were. . And with that, we learn nothing.
In life, we absorb thoughts, feelings and events from a million different directions. We make snapshot assessments of everything, everyday, and we move throughout our routine without even realizing all the information we take in and make part of ourselves. We react to a hundred things every minute: sounds, shapes, sights, feelings and thoughts fly through our consciousness. Instantaneously, we screen through 99 percent of it and apply only a small portion to who we are and what we’re doing.
And when I processed the events in Tucson, I realized how random life can be. An unexpected twist of fate could place any of us in harm’s way, at any time. In the whisper of an incident, your life can change forever. I never want to take the chance that my life will be over without amends made, apologies offered, and the spirit of peace extended. And never, ever want to take the chance of leaving this world without letting everybody I know how much I love them and how much they mean to me.
Take a minute today, please, and make peace with your enemies, resolve conflicts in every part of your life, and make sure that you tell every single person you know that you love them, that they’re important, and that your life is so much better because of who they are.
You will give new life to your journey and new meaning to your life.
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