In midst of darkness, find light
Editor’s Note: Views expressed in guest columns and letters to the editor reflect the views of the author, not the views of The State News.
What a world we live in.
Unfortunately, as we all were taught again on Monday in the form of a marathon that left blood and carnage, this world we live in isn’t always the greatest.
Not only were we reminded our society can be a nasty place, but it quickly is looking like this world is forever a dark place, with the light switch nowhere to be seen.
To be honest, it has come to the point where I was watching replays of the bomb exploding next to the finish line, and I thought nothing of it.
Heck, after hearing about 26 kids getting gunned down at point blank in December, it seems no story ever will phase me again. And that, of course, is definitely not a good revelation.
But even as I watch terrible tragedies on the news without raising an eyebrow because it seems like the same old story, I still have not lost faith in humanity.
Although we are walking the same planet as those who murder innocent people in masses, I still know this world has 100 pounds of good for every ounce of bad.
In between all the gruesome death toll tweets, a photo with this famous Mr. Rogers quote was floating around the Twittersphere: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
The helpers. The heroes. The good.
That is what we, as a society, must look to. We cannot look at what the terrorists have done and feel intimidated and helpless, because that is what they want. And I’ll be damned if someone picks up an easy victory like that.
No, instead of being scared, let’s all be inspired by the incredible people seen in times of need.
Seconds after the bomb went off, police, runners and bystanders rushed to the giant plume of smoke to help out in any way possible. Think of it, instead of running the other way, dozens of people sprinted toward the fiery inferno that was filled with dismembered bodies and pools of blood to help save lives.
Not only that, but according to NBC News, some runners broke past the finish line and didn’t stop until they found a hospital to donate blood. No explanation needed to see how powerful that act of kindness and heroism is.
As hard as it is to imagine the tragedies without the sadness, everyone needs to remember the brave souls in the Sandy Hook and Aurora, Colo., shootings.
In Sandy Hook, 27-year-old first grade teacher Vicki Soto and 52-year-old Anne Marie Murphy hid their students and used themselves as human shields in order to save their students’ lives and futures. Fifty six-year-old psychologist Mary Sherlach and 47-year-old principal Dawn Hochsprung both went to confront the gunman, armed only with their bravery and determination to save lives.
Although all four perished in the attacks, they all displayed acts of valor many of us wouldn’t even think of attempting.
Same with Jon Blunk, Alex Teves and Matt McQuinn, who all sacrificed their bodies to protect their girlfriends when bullets started flying during what infamously is dubbed “The Dark Knight” massacre. While all three men died in the greatest act of chivalry this century, they accomplished their goal of saving their girlfriends, as all three came away alive.
So this is the math: Dozens of people against one supposed bomber. Four teachers against one gunman. Three people against a shooter.
I’m no math whiz, but if I’m doing addition correctly, the good guys are running up the score on the cold-hearted ones.
But we can grow that score even more. It doesn’t have to be in the form of saving lives, because not everyone gets that chance. We can, however, do this on a much smaller scale in day-to-day life and brighten the light of humanity. Give a stranger a compliment today. Email a professor thanking them for a lesson that stuck with you. Call a restaurant and rave about how great your last waiter was. Be creative, and just do something that can restore the faith in humanity for you and those you reach out to.
This world can be a gloomy place sometimes, there is no question about that, but it is up to us to beautify the world. How amazing is it we not only can find joy and heroes when the going gets rough, but that we can become those people ourselves?
Man, what a world we live in.
Matt Sheehan is the features editor at The State News and a journalism junior. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.