Monday, April 15, 2013

Life and love

In a little over a month, I will be 29. As I'm about to enter the last year of my 20s, I've become very reflective. I can't help but be discouraged with the state of our world today. Let me give you examples of events that have happened in my lifetime and have shaped who I've become today.

  • Matthew Shepard Murder 
  • Columbine High School Massacre
  • 9/11
  • Aurora Theater Shooting
  • Jessica Ridgeway Murder
  • Newtown
  • and now Boston
Not to mention the many friends I have who have lost their parents much earlier than should happen. I'm reminded of the boy I went to high school with who took his life when we were sophomores. I think of the young man who thought texting and driving was harmless and that's what ended his life. I am reminded of my dear friend whose daughter's life ended far too soon because of a freak car accident. I think of my dear friend who lost his father and 2 siblings in one car accident. I am reminded of my friend's girlfriend who took her own life after not being able to cope with the effects of being raped.

I think of my own car accident. How lucky I was to survive. 11 years later and I'm still not sure why I survived that, but so many good people didn't survive various things in the world.

What has happened to our world???

As I think about the explosions, my heart breaks. It is absolutely tragic that someone would plant something like this. What breaks my heart the most is that this is so similar to the Aurora Theater Shooting. Harming innocent people. People who have worked SO HARD to get to this marathon. Seeing as how I only do 5ks, I can't even imagine what sense of accomplishment it would be to finish running 26.2 miles.... Only to encounter such a senseless act of hate. And honestly, it makes me very angry.

Children can't walk to school without fear of being abducted. People can't go see a simple movie without fear of someone opening fire. And now people can't even run a freaking race. It's ridiculous.

I am sure everyone has seen this, but I found it to be a light of hope:

 Boston. Fucking horrible. 
I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, "Well, I've had it with humanity."
But I was wrong. I don't know what's going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths. 
But here's what I DO know. If it's one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we're lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they're pointed towards darkness. 
But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We'd have eaten ourselves alive long ago. 
So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, "The good outnumber you, and we always will." --Patton Oswald
As we start to pick up the pieces, I look forward to hearing the stories of bravery. The stories of those helping, for when it really comes down to it, I believe people are inherently good.

Here in Colorado we have a bit of snow today. I have a 40 minute commute most days. Today it took me and hour and a half. Right as I was about to leave work, I had a parent of a former student come in my room and offer up their guest bedroom. Such a sweet gesture. Totally unexpected and helped restore my faith in humanity a bit.

A lesson I feel like we are trying to be taught all too much: Life is fragile. Anything can happen at any given moment. So I beg of you: LOVE. Love your friends. Love your families. Love strangers. Just love each other. Help those in need. Smile. Hold a door open for someone. Just please remember to love.

United we stand. Though we have different stories, different experiences, we are all a part of the human experience. Until next time my dear friends.

<3 Jessica <3

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