When Tragedy Strikes

Last night I lay awake in bed unable to fall asleep because I couldn’t stop thinking about the terrible tragedy that happened in Connecticut. The victims. The parents. The heroes . The monster. The incredible cruelty of it all. And finally, because I couldn’t chase it from my mind, I said to myself, Okay, instead of thinking about this tragedy which has nearly destroyed my faith in humanity, think about something good, something faith-restoring.

So I rummaged through my mind, and I recalled some recent acts of kindness that people have done for me which have made me feel like, “Everything will be okay.” While these acts of kindness certainly don’t erase the tragedy, they are the only things that give me a chance at living a life of hope and light, and not one of darkness.

Here is one example of kindness I experienced recently:

My husband was out of the country on business for a few days. The first night he was away, a friend came over to hang out (and help entertain my fifteen month old). The second night, a different friend. The third night, my mother-in-law came over and helped me bathe and put the girls to sleep. I also had different friends calling me and checking in to see that I was managing. I know that for each person, it was a phone call, or just one night of their lives and not the biggest deal – to me, it was support when I was lonely, calmness amidst a storm of two babies, and, by making my nights easier, they gave me energy to be a better mother in the morning.

It might seem like I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. It’s just like when you’re having a bad day and someone smiles at you, it can make all the difference in the world. Or conversely, when you’re having a bad day, and someone scowls or snaps at you, that too can make all the difference.

The reality is, a monster made a terrible, terrible difference in so many lives. He destroyed families, innocence, he almost destroyed God Himself. So in the face of this tragedy, in the face of Evil personified, the only way I know to fight back is to be a person who changes lives for the better. Who, like the people who helped me so much, can start a chain reaction of kindness that can be passed from person to person. Who, through doing small acts of kindness, to friends and strangers alike, can bring light and hope into the world.

I hope I am up to the task.

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