This morning I woke up and checked my phone as I do every morning. At night I put my phone on ‘do not disturb’ because far too often Verizon likes to inform me how much data I’ve used at 4am (not good) or a student may text that they are sick (and that’s a-okay – I appreciate the notice) I also don’t watch the news much, preferring to listen to the radio. As a result, I have my phone set up to give me news alerts to the big headlines.
This morning the first item I saw was a news alert about a mass shooting in Las Vegas. I clicked the link to read a bit further and was shocked with the news about this devastating shooting. I turned on the radio and begin listening. What is normally a fun, light, and mildly informative radio show became fully focused on dissecting the details of the shooting. I found myself wanting to know more. Wanting to understand.
I believe in times like these we crave answers and understanding even though there may never be an answer or rational that makes any sense. We want to know the motivation and to understand how someone could do something so senseless and tragic. Having a ‘why’ might just make it a tiny bit more bearable. The reality is often times there is no ‘why’ that will ever make sense to us. In cases of mental illness and irrational actions, there is no justification.
In thinking about this tragedy, I was reminded of a trip I took to Las Vegas three years ago for a special concert. This made me wonder how many of the people in attendance were there for a special occasion? Maybe this was a trip they saved up for, or reunion of friends. a first date or anniversary? Maybe this was the first time seeing a favorite artist or the 20th time? Festivals and concerts bring us together for a variety of happy reasons. No doubt the concert-goers were excited about the show and had left their cares at home. Memories of this event will forever be changed.
So how do we proceed? How do we process this tragedy? What can we do? I believe the best we can do is to keep moving forward. We can acknowledge that terrible things happen but this should not keep us from living. The future is uncertain and always will be but today we can live fully. Instead of hiding inside for fear of what might be, we can knock items off our bucket list and expand our experiences. We can support the victims and their families. We can hug our families and friends a little tighter, too. We can take a moment and grieve for the senseless loss of life but then we must live on for those who can not.
If you knew today was your last day … what would you wish you had done? Who do you wish you had called? Take action and move forward today!