In the light of tragedy

When tragedy hits our world our country rallies around each other. We are compassionate to our fellow man. We smile a little more, we hug often, we hold doors, we are never more human to our fellow brothers and sisters than we are when tragedy strikes. Sudden tragedies have a way of snapping us back to the present. They illuminate the mundane and the monotony of life and we are grateful. We are grateful for the simple pleasure of being alive and the ability to love and be loved. I love that about my country. We take care of each other when the chips are down. Nothing brings a group of people together like the grief over someone well loved and revered. Someone like Kobe Bryant. When my husband phoned me to share the news I cried. I’m not really sure why except that he has been a hero to so many young men and women, and sports enthusiasts alike. I carried his wife and girls (I carried the grief and heartache for all of the families affected actually) in my heart all afternoon as I purchased groceries for my family. My family that I got to go home to. The energy that afternoon was somber and incredibly sobering. The stores were flocked with fans sporting that Bryant jersey with immense pride and intense grief. There was a sea of purple and yellow. I saw humans being kind to one another. It was so encouraging. So what will happen as the shocking news of Kobe Bryant’s death wanes? Will be continue to smile more? Will we hug often? Will we continue to hold doors for complete strangers? As much as I am grateful for how this country responds to tragic situations I am equally saddened for how we (I am pointing a giant finger at myself) respond to the everyday situations presented to us as humans. The magic is in the seemingly mundane. The simple beauty of life is what makes these tragedies so heartbreaking and so sad. We hurt so deeply because we love. So why do we not approach daily life with this same vigor and attention? I know for me personally, life happens. I get annoyed with my kids. Nothing can snap me out of a grateful attitude than an argument with my husband or someone who rudely cuts me off on the freeway. It is so easy to complain. And since adulting can be really hard and toilsome at times there is a lot to complain about. No argument there! BUT there is also so much to be grateful for. A simple shift in perspective can aide in bringing you right back into the present moment. I have children to be annoyed with. I have a husband to spar with. I have a car to get me around. I am blessed with an opportunity to love someone who needs it immensely. Life is messy and it’s beautiful. With all of it’s blunders and annoyances. It’s grand and we are so blessed to experience it all. The good, the bad AND the ugly. For that is what it means to be human. That is what it means to be alive and how lucky we are to experience another day here. I suspect the death of this beloved man will weigh on our hearts for some time. So let’s honor his memory by loving each other when life gets back to some semblance of normal. Smile more. Hug often. Hold doors open for each other. Show love and extend grace to your fellow brothers and sisters. Be a kind human. In the words of Ram Dass, “We’re all just walking each other home.” Choose love every day because you never know if it will be your last day to do just that. Don’t wait for a tragedy to open your eyes to the beauty and magic this life has to offer. Let the simple beauty of waking up be what jolts you to the astounding reality that life is here and now. And it’s abundantly wonderful.


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