Never Losing Hope

Tree with Sun

Today saw a huge tragedy in Connecticut. I’m not going to bother posting links.

I don’t think there’s any need for me to relate that having children in this age range and hearing about these sorts of things, while one is in kindergarten and the other there soon, fill me with a special kind of dread. Every parent across the country felt their heart break in sympathetic unison when they read the news.

After all, one of the thoughts haunting you at the stem of your brain as a parent every day is what if something happens?

But as I said, that’s not what I want to write about.

I want to write about hope.

Rattling Our Cages

The tragedy happening at this time of year, so close to Christmas, naturally makes us recoil with special horror. Regardless of what we celebrate, this is the time of year when we slow down a little bit and take a deep breath to congratulate ourselves for surviving one year and look forward to the next.

It is a time to come to terms with old sorrows and rejoice in our blessings. This is why things like this happening during what is supposed to be the restful time of the year rock me to our my foundation.

  • It doesn’t help make any sense of the tragedy that our news media are a bunch of self–serving vultures who have reduced our collective experience to that of a carnival sideshow.
  • It doesn’t help that the first instinct of glory hound politicians, who think they are mayors of the world, is to rush out to make the situation all about them.
  • It doesn’t help that we all invoke a “meaningful conversation” about things while getting on our respective soapboxes.

For me, this sort of thing could simply lead to a sense of horrible despair. Why now and why these children? Children used to be off–limits, right?

How did this shooter, and by extension we, come to value life so little?

In a world of such indecent horror how can we ever expect to be sensibly decent?

Sam Gamgee
In even the darkest times, we have to be willing to find hope.

Hope Must Survive

There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.

—Sam Gamgee
The Lord of the Rings

The pain these parents feel is crushing and as a parent the last thing I’d ever do is trivialize it.

But we must not lose sight of the good in this world.

The only way to honor those who have died is to work to make ourselves and figure out what we need to change about our lives. If we need to correct a course in our life or amend a bad decision let it be now. If there is something we want to do but have not yet done, let this be when we choose to do it.

It would be so easy to lose hope in the face of an event like this; it would be so simple to lose hope looking at the knife attack that wounded 22 at a school in China. There is so much horror around the world beyond even this tragedy that you have to wonder sometimes at its wanton disposition.

Has it always been this bad or have we lost control of our baser nature somewhere along the way?

The simple fact is, as horrible as it seems to say at a time like this, we will survive. Because we have to.

This darkness will pass because we will make it pass.

In fact, there is one line of dialogue in particular that comes to me in times like this: “How we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life.” It’s a rather profound bit of dialogue in Star Trek II that seems even more sage as we all age and deal with tragedy.

I will mourn for those families and I will pray for them. I will try to accept some semblance of sense about what happened as the talking heads pretend to understand it and relay facts to me.

But I will continue to hope and remember that there is good, and there is love and there are great things to cherish in this life.

For all those mourning, I can only hope they can find the strength they need to get beyond this day.


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