Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be. — William Hazlitt
We walk around every day with an outlook of invincibility. In a world wrought with disease, natural disaster, accidents, we must view ourselves with a bit of indestructibility, or be crippled by the constant certitude of our mortality.
Yesterday, around 3:30pm, an armed gunman fired shots in Clackamas Town Center and killed two people —a shopping mall I was carrying bags of presents through just a few days ago. It’s not hard to imagine, then, that could have been me. Or one of my friends. A family member.
Tragedies occur to other people. We read about them in the paper. See them on the news. We possess a blurred empathy toward them, forced to imagine what that pain must feel like. But the closer those tragedies can be pictured in our lives, the sharper that empathy becomes, until that empathy is so fine it punctures our own hearts and we bleed, too.
You never think it’s going to happen to you. It will never be a face you recognize on the television. You won’t be the one interviewed recounting the disaster.
But when the world spins a certain direction, you have no choice but to spin that way, too.
So send your prayers and thoughts to the families that are grieving right now. Remember your own loved ones, your own beating heart, and give thanksgiving you have both.
We are a fragile version of life, too much pressure and we fracture, fall too high and we shatter. So treasure the fortunes you’ve been given and give good fortune to those you treasure.