I barely remember a world “before”. In some cases, I don’t remember it at all.
A world where we weren’t looking over our shoulders wondering…what’s next?
Events like Oklahoma City, Columbine, September 11 haven’t happened TO me. But they definitely have AFFECTED me – I’ve been having panic attacks on and off since I was in FIFTH grade. Panic attacks about the “what if?”. And as a kid (and adult) with an overactive imagination – the “what if” is never good and can get pretty dramatic.
I know every generation has had their bad things. It’s not a new development. And there are others that live in places where their “what ifs” are much more likely to happen.
At the end of the day, I’m just tired of not remembering the befores. Of the wondering “what’s next”. Of seeing what’s next.
Maybe that’s why Patton Oswalt’s viral Facebook status struck such a chord with me Monday. It was a perfect representation of what I was feeling at the time. I’m tired of these events shaping our worldview. We are inherently good. Human kind is not horrendous en mass. I know this because I see it. I see it daily.
[…]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.
I’m tired of these events taking away the faith I have in humanity. And I do have faith in humanity – I see good in people day in and day out at my workplace. I see people literally take the shoes off of their feet, the bracelets off of their arms, donate designer dresses with the hangtags still intact, give a few hours of their valuable time…all to help someone in need. And not treat it as an obligation, or something they feel has to be done. They do it because they WANT to do it.
And on Monday, as bombs were exploding and panic spread around them – people ran INTO the chaos. Not just first responders, but everyday citizens. They ripped apart their clothing to act as tourniquets. They held each other as they mourned. They ran their 26.2 and then 2 more to the hospital to donate blood. They opened their homes to displaced runners. In yet another moment of unspeakable pain and tragedy, the human spirit was alive and present.
I’m tired of being tired and so I’m not going to be tired anymore. Instead of dwelling on wondering who could do the unspeakable horrible, I’m going to dwell on those that do the magnificent good.
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.”