As the news spread of the senseless and tragic violence that struck a Colorado movie theater by the hands of a madman last week, I find myself, like the rest of the country, reeling by the randomness of it all. And on the day that followed the tragedy, I had to explain to my daughters why I was not willing to enter a movie theater on a rainy afternoon at the beach. So, in an attempt to explain and reflect on random acts of violence, I was hard pressed to provide a rational reason to my young children why they should not be afraid to go to the movies or to school or sightsee or ride public transportation.
In the days since the Colorado incident, as I follow the daily headlines and learn more details, I read that one of the victims who was fatally shot had actually survived a mall shooting only a month ago. With this extreme fact in mind, rather than trying to make sense of the tragedy for my kids, I gave them the “life is precious and don’t sweat the small stuff” speech. And although this is a philosophy I like to believe we always practice, it has never been more applicable in their short lifetimes.
Naturally, it is usually in times like these we think about our own mortality, our loved ones and perhaps our legacies. We may wonder about our future and worry. And although there is nothing in the world that can make sense of our own demise, it is something to consider and an opportunity to be grateful for every day we have here.
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