Many of us are still reeling in the aftermath of the massacre in Vegas. When something like this happens, we tend to question everything. We’re in pain, sad, afraid and angry. We want reasons. We want fixes. We want to make something like this never happen again. But we know it will. History tells us it will.
It’s so easy to give in to the dark emotions, to look at ourselves and say there’s something fundamentally, unfixably corrupt about human nature. We can point to all the horror we can inflict on one another and say: see, that’s what we are. When the chips are down, and the masks are off, we are the monsters we should fear most.
But I don’t agree. Most vehemently, I do not agree. It’s times like these, in disasters both human made and natural, that we see how good we can be. Yes, we’re profoundly flawed, all of us. But we are good too.
One doesn’t have to look very far to find the stories of courage and sacrifice emerging from Vegas. People throwing themselves over loved ones and strangers to protect them from bullets. People carrying others to safety. Law enforcement running into the line of fire to stop the killer.
And it’s not only Vegas. In any disaster, look and you will find people reaching out to others. Yes, there are the rioters and looters, those who will indulge their greed at the expense of the suffering, but they are not all of us. I would even say they are not most of us.
We can and should mourn evil actions, seek to prevent them whenever we can, but we should never give into the temptation to throw up our hands in despair or give into darkness.
You and I, we can choose to be light in the darkness. We can choose to reach out our hands to help instead of hurt. And every act of goodness we do reverberates, reaches further than the evil. Our actions encourage others around us to do good as well.
Be the light.
Day 89/365. The light will eventually reach you! by Tarang hirani, on Flickr | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0