Saturday, July 28, 2012

Enjoy the good times

The shooting rampage that took place in Colorado last week reminds us that mayhem can take place anywhere at any time.
A few hundred people thought they were going to spend a fun night at the movies, but their lives changed forever. For some, their lives ended. Dozens of others were injured and the remainder likely received emotional damage they will carry for the rest of their lives.
Intellectually, we all know our lives can end at any second. We know that we are not guaranteed tomorrow, and we understand that if one person snaps that it can have a tremendous impact on us.
Still, all the preparation in the world cannot totally steady us when life changing events take place. Sometimes we get caught in the path of the whirlwind when we are at our most vulnerable. When this happens, the results are often brutal and leave deep scars.
As for the event in Colorado, I am sure we will continue to hear a lot of analysis regarding why the killer did what he did. Though this analysis is meaningful in some respects, much of it is overdone.
After all, how much insight can the "experts" we keep seeing in the media really have if they have not examined the killer? At best, they can only speculate. Some of the speculation is helpful, but it is really nothing better than an educated guest.
Of course, the point of all this speculation is to understand why people cross the line and commit horrible crimes like these. In the last decade or so, we have seen these crimes take place in high schools, on military installations, and on university campuses, to name a few.
The truly scary aspect of all this is the total randomness of it. Because of this, there is really no way we can prepare for it. Are we really going to stop attending movies because of the possibility of something like this happening here? No, we are not, and the one step many of us can take when these things happen is to continue living our lives as normally as possible.
If we try to live a life in which we are constantly looking over our shoulders, then we will be miserable people. We have no control over if a madman will snap and start killing people. The same goes for other events like the loss of jobs or natural disasters.
As much as we like to be in control of our lives, there are so many aspects of it that are out of our hands. Every day, we see news reports of tornadoes doing damage. As much as we know that is real, it does not prepare us when we are the ones being chased by one of those storms.
The bottom line is that we live in a world where bad things happen to good people. We do not live in paradise or any sort of utopia. Because of this, we are guaranteed that we all will go through seasons of suffering.
This may sound somewhat cynical, but it is the truth. Just because truth can be rough does not make it cynical. It is just the way it is.
Because of this, maybe we should all appreciate the good seasons and the many blessings we get to enjoy. Despite these dark times we live in, the positives often outweigh the negatives by a large margin.
If we focus on this, it will certainly help when the dark times do come. This is because we all know that darkness only stays a nighttime in most cases.
Good times are often just around the corner.

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