Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Put a Little Love in Your Heart

     Like everyone else, I've shed more than a few tears over the senseless tragedy that occurred this weekend. And, just like everyone else, I have no answers as why it happened or what to do about it.  Bad things happen.  They just do.  There's no getting around it.  And when they do, our first impulse is often anger.  The desire to lash out, to revenge ourselves on the evil that has taken from us that thing we hold most precious and dear.  That is a natural and human instinct.  Sometimes, our first impulse is to blame, to finger-point and make wholesale declarations on how to stop another tragedy like this one from happening again.  Often, these statements are born out of raw, wounded emotion that clouds our reasoning and logic, leading to ill-advised solutions that only make things worse.  Again, this is a natural and human instinct.  When unpredictable events disrupt our lives to the very core, it is only logical that we react just as unpredictably and with equal ferocity.  
     But, just like every other tragic event in our history, there are tales that emerge of bravery and courage, of those who survived and those not as fortunate.  Tales of those who were taken too soon, of the lives they touched and the lives they changed.  And tales of coming together, of picking up the pieces and finding some way to move forward, to heal.  This has been the way of things after every catastrophic and heartbreaking event in our time, and of all those that came before.  For an all-too-brief moment, we put aside the things that make us different and focus on the things that make us the same.  We realize that we all have something in common, something that makes us all threads of the same tapestry.  We remember that we're all a part of something bigger, and that we're all a part of it together.  It is the greatest strength of the human race to come together in times like this.  It's just a shame it takes times like this for us to actually come together.  But again, that is just a natural and human instinct.

     In times like this, people turn to whatever they can to bring some kind of comfort or distraction to their heartbreak.  I can't pretend to know the kind of pain being experienced by those directly affected by this senseless act, and it would be foolish to think anything I have to offer would be of any solace or significance to them.  But every year around this time I like to watch some of my favorite holiday movies to get into the spirit of things and this year is no exception.  Before the events of this weekend I watched Scrooged for the umpteenth time.  It's not exactly a classic by any means, but Bill Murray is always good for a laugh and he gives a great speech at the end about the true meaning of the season.  As the film closes, this song plays over the credits.  It's an insignificant piece of 80's fluff, but it has never failed to bring a smile to my face and put me in the holiday spirit, which is something we could all benefit from right now, if only for a moment.  And while the lyrics are kind of corny and old fashioned, I think the message it conveys feels very appropriate for these days.  I hope there is a light at the end of this very dark tunnel for those who have lost so much, and I hope there are better days ahead for us all.