Days like today give us opportunities to make choices. What to think. How to react. Since I’m pretty plugged in to social media compared to most 14 month olds, I’m seeing plenty of both.
Beneath it all, there’s this other choice. A choice that – whether we’re thinking about it or not – accompanies the others.
That choice: What to hope for.
It’s easy to hope for comfort and healing for the marathon victims and their families, for the safety and efficacy of our law enforcement officers, and for justice for the bad guys.
Here’s what I hope for that’s not so easy:
1 – Rage short and focused, not long and broad. Hate and anger are real. I’m not perfect, I feel them. But they are terrible things. Difficult to contain. It’s all too easy to lump whole groups of people in with the bad guys.
Religions and countries are not the bad guys. The bad guys are. They tried to make a difference with hate, and they got me with it. At least for today.
I feel what I feel, but if I hold on to the hate or let it spread, they win. I hope to let hate go.
2 – Act, don’t stew. Frustration and anger always lead to armchair quarterbacking, but rarely lead to action. I don’t mean I need to take action in this particular situation as I think the Feds wouldn’t appreciate it much, but I do have a choice today. I can make a difference.
I can do something today that makes people’s lives better. People are hurting on the news. They deserve help, but today I can’t help them.
People are hurting quietly everywhere I look. Their stories are not on TV. I can make a difference for them. I hope I do.
3 – Remember. I will remember today. I’ll remember what happens. I’ll remember the choices people make: What they choose to say, what they choose to do, and what they choose not to. I will remember what I do as well.
But will I remember to do something tomorrow that makes the world a better place? Will I remember next week? Next month?
The spirit of making a difference strikes many of us when the day reminds us that we should. Many days don’t. I hope I remember this, remember to make a difference on days when nothing reminds me to do so.
I hope I remember. If I don’t, I hope you remind me.