Today I found myself watching the news a little later than I normally do, and when I turned on the channel, I saw a horrific story about a school shooting in Connecticut that had claimed the lives of 26 people.
What there is to be said about the event has already been said– it is not my place, nor my prerogative, to claim any sort of insight or explanation into such a horrific situation, because it is impossible. I do not know what went on. I do not presume to know. I can’t imagine the loss and the sadness, anger and confusion that must be happening right now across the country, and my heart aches for those peope.
When I heard about the news, I was shocked. All of the crap I watch on TV, all of the questionable sub-reddits I peruse– they are all fine and dandy, but suddenly, I was faced with the sudden realization that the person I love more than anything in the world works in a school. And that thought terrified me.
But more than that, the rest of my day reaffirmed a belief that I have held for a long, long time.
Yes, the world is not always a happy place. There is suffering, there is pain, there is death.
And when it comes without invitation or notice, it is a brutal and efficient thing to watch.
But the world is more than that.
The world is filled with so much beauty– so much hope.
Hope that comes from the strangest of places in the most inopportune times.
There are people that can be cruel and heartless and brutal–
but just the same, there are people whose stories inspire and whose actions speak far more loudly than those of the angry and the disatisfied.
There will always be hatred. There will always be contempt and confusion and rage–
but there is also peace. There is laughter and joy and hope and excitement and adventure and everything that makes this life worth living.
It is not always a small gesture. Sometimes, it’s merely a hug or a handshake or a nod across a room–
but those actions speak louder than a thousand wars ever will, because they are the actions that carry meaning, that carry weight.
Hope exists. If I believe in anything, subscribe to any belief at all, it is that no matter what, no matter how dark or grey or colorless the world may seem, there is always, always hope.
The world exists to be bettered.
Days like today make it difficult to believe that may be an achievable goal, but I believe it. I believe in happiness and light and goodness, no matter how hard they may be to find.
It is easy to forget that on days like today.
But I do. I do believe that. I believe in hope. Hope has saved me more times than I can count.
I don’t think I can save the world, but maybe, I can give it a little hope.