What a world
I have been pretty depressed listening to the information coming out of Nairobi shopping mall in Kenya. To me the whole story is confusing and scary, and I cannot believe that something like this happened in such a seemingly safe location (I mean, it could have been any mall in the US, right?). Though I guess I have been saying that a lot lately – I cannot believe that this happened at a movie theater, at a supermarket, at an elementary school…
In listening to the reports, I still do not quite understand why 3 floors of the mall have collapsed, I do not know whether or not to believe that the situation is actually over, and I am so sad to think that there are still more than 60 people missing. I presume them dead.
I find that events like this (and the shooting in Washington DC last week, and the Sandy Hook shooting and the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting, and even the earthquake last night in Pakistan) have caused me to be more afraid for the lives of myself and my family than seems reasonable. I have written about this fear before, but now…now that I have a family, these random acts of violence seem even more unbelievable, even more senseless and even more frightening. When I was single, I recognized that really crappy things happen, that sometimes people are in the wrong place at the wrong time, that people die well before their time, that there are people out there who want to hurt others. I always hoped (and assumed) that I would be able to do the right things to avoid this kind of tragedy, I always hoped that no matter where I went, near or far, no matter what I did that I would take appropriate risks and that for the most part, things would be fine. However, now that I have a family, I feel as though I walk around afraid. I think about all of the things that COULD be, and I just hope that they will not be. I pray, in my way that we will be spared, that we will continue to be lucky. Though, I grapple with the reality, that bad things happen to all people and that it is how we respond to tragedy and sorry that really defines who we are.
I have been lucky enough to travel to many places in the world (and there are many left that I would like to visit). I have been to some places that some people would consider dangerous. I never thought that they were. Certainly, I was aware of my surroundings and I was careful in my actions…much more so, I will admit than at any movie theater, grocery store or shopping mall…
The people who went to work at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, probably thought that driving their car in traffic or taking public transportation, or even walking across the street in New York City was more dangerous that morning than sitting in their office doing their work. The people who went to the see the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises probably never thought that the violence that we periodically see on the big screen would play out right in front of them in the movie theater that night.
What does all of this teach us? Well, it teaches me that life is short. That truly, you never know what will happen and there is no way to prepare for everything. It teaches me that I have to spend that extra few minutes in the morning having that connection with LadyBug and with my husband. That saying I love you when I leave for work is far more than just three because crazy things happen ever day. It teaches me that I certainly cannot control much of anything and that even though most of these events that we hear so much about are FREAK incidents…but that you truly never know. It reminds me that the people who deserve it the least, often have terrible things happen to them. It reminds me that we have to take stock…over and over and over again. It reminds me that memories are made every day, not just during special occasions, and it reminds me that, all you need really is love.