Too many tragedies.
And sometimes they’re too hard to deal with.
Unrest abroad, anger in America, tragic accidents close by and I could go on but it wouldn’t help.
How can we deal with things that just plain make us sad?
For some, it’s avoidance - just don’t keep up on the news, just pretend it isn’t happening. And while I can’t fault them, I have to do it differently.
For some, it’s keeping it in another compartment in the brain: Here’s what I can control and here’s what I can’t, so here’s what I will worry and fret about and try to solve and here’s what I will trust to others who are worrying and fretting and working to solve.
Some are able to find a light somewhere in the darkness. They find a purpose, a reason, a peace.
Their perspective becomes broader, their sensitivities deeper. They look for ways to prevent the suffering they have seen and experienced first-hand, they start to work to help others who have suffered as they have.
As a reporter, I often come in contact with people who have had tremendous losses. Such was the case last week at the funeral of a young veteran and the month before at the relay to fight cancer and two months ago at a run supported by families still grieving the young children they had lost to illness or accident.
When you talk with those who have suffered loss, you learn from the perspective they have gained and the strength they have found.
Perspective can come from understanding that difficult things have happened throughout history - just in different ways - and people have learned and grown from it.
Two histories captured my attention last week. In the morning during workouts, I read a pamphlet containing the short histories of 30 handcart pioneers. When I had a few minutes in the evening, I’d try and get to a few pages of the history of George Washington.
Martin’s Cove and Valley Forge were places of intense suffering. Those who died are examples of dedication to a cause, those who lived are examples of overcoming long odds and staying true.
Perspective can be understanding there is more to life than what we see here and now and that separations are just temporary.
Perspective can come when sad things help you become aware of how precious each day is, how precious each person in your day is, and how precious every healthy moment and each happiness can be.
As a reporter, I also see many people doing amazing things: creating, serving, building, teaching, performing, working to improve.
There is so, so, so much good all around.
And yes, even in the news.
Sad things are not new today. And they won’t disappear tomorrow.
We can help each other look for the message, we can help each other try to understand, we can help each other be strong and be positive and try to make things better.
But sometimes, when sad things happen, there is only one thing to do.
Sometimes we just need to cry.
And that’s OK too.