Today Americans suffered yet another attack at the hand of one of our own. It was a tragedy of the most unspeakable kind: an attack on the most innocent among us. As a people we are feeling a broad swath of emotions: horror, outrage, despair, that heartsick sadness that can only come when you feel that the world has reached a new low and recovery seems impossible.
Tragedies such as these are important. We pray for our world to be a safe place, but we can't prevent these events from occurring, no matter how hard we try. These moments should mark the turning of a tide, if not as a people then on an individual level. Please, do not let these lives be taken in vain. Embrace this opportunity to rise above the anger and hate, to put your life in perspective.
This is not the time to place blame. In a harsh, cold moment do not give your pain a false outlet by casting judgment upon those around you. Do not allow tragedy to multiply infinitely inward by sacrificing your own spirit to darkness.
There is no comparison. No one tragedy is worse than any other, and assigning values between horrific events is a black hole of sadness that is difficult to escape. Hiding your current pain in past, scarred hurts will not make the present moment any easier. Be here now, comfort yourself and hold your loved ones right this very second. You may find a tiny ray of light in the shadow hanging over this day.
Set your politics aside. The heat generated by rational friction has no place in the cold, blurry ill of a nation's initial mourning. Warmth may feel like a reprieve, but the compounding anger burns more harshly than you may expect. Put down your raging opinions. Grasp at what you know is real and true right now: the people around you and the pain you can help alleviate with a kind word or touch.
Tomorrow is approaching, as is the holiday season. This wound, too, shall scar over, but let that scar be a reminder of both our vulnerability and resilience as a people. Our world can be a cold, dark place, but we are warm beings, capable of overcoming the most horrific of experiences. Please allow others the space they need to heal. Please allow yourself the same right.