I woke up to my alarm yesterday morning the same way I do every morning. I opened my phone to see a Facebook post from a family member, who is in law enforcement, saying that he was safe but that he was heading in to Las Vegas to help his fellow officers.
I knew something was terribly wrong.
As I searched for news of what was going on, I came upon the news that Las Vegas had experienced the worst mass shooting in modern US history. My heart stopped.
Our family had been living outside of Las Vegas for the past 12 years and just recently moved. But I have so many friends and family members- people I love dearly- who could have been right in the middle of it.
As friends started checking in and I found that they were all safe, my nerves turned to feelings of anger and sadness.
Why?? Why would someone feel the need to attack innocent people? Why do my children have to live in a world with so much evil?
What?? What do I tell my children? What can we do to prevent these things from happening?
How?? How do we move on from this?
As someone who makes a living in the online space, my voice felt paralyzed . My blog and Facebook page fell silent.
What do you say? What do you post? A funny meme seems so innappropriate. An article about the stresses of potty training seems so trivial. Halloween craft ideas can wait.
Then the thought came to me clear as day. BE THE GOOD. SHARE THE GOOD.
There is still so much good to be found. When a tragedy like this happens, the good people of this world show us that evil will not win. People will help. Hearts will be changed. Evil cannot stop love.
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Only in darkness can you see the stars,” and there were many, many stars on such a dark and awful night.
As stories started to emerge from the chaos, I read about the heroes and those who died protecting their family members and those first responders who ran towards the shooting while others were desperately trying to get away.
There are stories of people running away but then going back to help others get to safety, or offering their personal vehicles as a way of transporting the injured to local hospitals and making the trip back towards danger over and over again to help more people.
I watched a survivor being interviewed from her hospital bed and all she wanted to do was thank the man who refused to leave her and carried her to safety after she had been shot in the leg. She didn’t even know his name but he saved her life.
I saw the reports of lines for donating blood that wrap around the block. People of all backgrounds coming together to help strangers in need.
Light will always shine even in the darkest of moments.
And so as we try to move forward from that tragic day, I want to challenge everyone to BE THE GOOD! Swallow your pride. Put differences behind you. Love people who are different than you or who believe differently than you do. Personal beliefs should never be a barrier to kindness. Be civil. Be kind. Love your neighbor.
When you can’t find the light among the darkness, be that light. Serve when it is inconvenient. Love those who may be difficult to love.
Every time a tragedy of this scale happens, it is easy to feel that there is a little less light and a little less goodness in the world, but it is in those moments that we witness the very best of humanity and light will always win.