I’ve been thinking about the Aurora shooting lately, and it’s SO amazing how something so tragic can bring so many people together. To be honest, it’s amazing how any death, whether it’s twelve people or one person, can bring the whole world together. Whether it’s 9/11 or a celebrity, death has a way of making us human beings appreciate life and people way more than we usually do.
But my question is, why?
Why do we wait for these things to happen before we start appreciating something as simple as being alive? Why is it we tell people we love them after they’ve left us?
The one thing that the Aurora shooting has taught me—and loads of other folks—is that we really don’t know when we’re going to have to say goodbye forever. We don’t know if our plane is going to land safely, or if the phone call we share with a loved one is going to be the last time we hear their voice. We don’t know if we’re going to get home tonight.
We don’t know if we’re going to come out of a movie theater alive.
What we do know, however, is that we still have time. There’s still a moment to enjoy the sunset; there’s still a few seconds to let another person know how loved they are. Because, even though I’m seventeen and have “all the time in the world” to enjoy this life, I don’t want to wait until tomorrow before I start appreciating what I’ve got. I might not get tomorrow…or the next thirty seconds. I don’t want to wait until my loved one is in a coffin before I tell them how much they mean to me, because the only thing worse than not enjoying your life is not loving the people who are part of it.
I want to enjoy life now while I’m still here to enjoy it. I want to love people while they’re still here to feel it.
Truth is, these tragedies are not going to go away, but they are not going to make me live in fear. If anything, they’ve encouraged me to live in love.
I hope you do the same.