Another mass shooting in America. Dozens of futures ripped away; hundreds of survivors who will deal with the emotional and physical recovery for the rest of their lives. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of friends and family members grieving in disbelief. And millions and millions more Americans talking about it on social media, at work, at schools, at play dates, in grocery stores and bars and restaurants.
Here we go again. The questions are familiar. So are the answers, which will almost always fail to satisfy the questions. Lots of fingers will be pointed in myriad directions. And who knows what the hell Trump will have to tweet about this.
Here’s my initial counsel to myself, which I offer up here to anyone who wants to eavesdrop on my thoughts as I try to focus my attention on a new work week of helping people to thrive in their careers and personal lives:
The present moment is all I have. Actually BE present. See, hear, smell, and touch. Feel things deeply. Be fully invested in whomever is nearby and whatever I’m doing. There’s no guarantee of the next moment’s arrival, and certainly no promise of the next day.
What I do today matters a great deal. The tone and content of my conversations. The empathy I choose to express. The help I offer. The things I learn. I don’t fully know what pain another person might be experiencing, so show up with compassion and openness and take it from there.
I am ever a work in progress. I have just as much potential for light or darkness as any other human being. I will continue to search inside myself, examining my motivations, my fears, my hopes, my anxieties, and my capacity for love.
I hope these words are helpful to anyone reading this. May you be filled with light and love today. May you be safe from harm. May you shelter another person who might be suffering.