President Obama spoke eloquently today in Florida about last night's senseless and tragic shooting here in my hometown of Denver. Aurora is not far away. From my balcony I can see the silhouette of buildings in Aurora, I have driven past the theater (then, it was just another multiplex theater) on a number of occasions; now the Town Center of Aurora will never be just "another" part of Denver's urban sprawl any more than Columbine will ever be just "another" school.
Obama had this to say to each of us as we reflect on this tragedy and think about the meaning of our own lives:
"What matters at the end of the day is not the small things, it's not the trivial things, which so often consume us in our daily lives. Ultimately it's how we choose to treat one another and how we love one another."
The President--the man, the father, the husband, the human being--hit the nail on the head. He's right, and indisputably so.
At the same time, I confess that I have more than a little interest in (and confusion about) why we Americans rise up in outrage, when yappy news coverage blankets all media with the sensational and instant reporting of the deaths of 12 or so people, the serious wounding of maybe 40 more who were watching a violent, pop culture, midnight movie event at a local theater--and then, at the same time, we (and the media) are able to sit back pretty calmly with our lattes as we read about the deaths in Afghanistan of over 2000 men and women (also human beings, fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, but de-humanized in the media as "troops") who have been killed fighting for a less than obvious or noble cause--but who have nonetheless performed their dangerous duties (no soda and popcorn involved) admirably on behalf of all of us Americans. There is a cognitive dissonance, I think, in our (my) reaction.
Today I am outraged. I find it very hard to "love one another" when that "other" hates my guts and wants to kill me, or rob me, or lie to me, or cheat me, or treat me like ignorant trash. Today I am going to have to work very hard to love my fellow humans.
Actually, I find the admonition to "love one another" very difficult every day of the year, not just on this "day after Aurora." But as the Romans observed, each day begins anew with a sunrise, an aurora. Maybe this Aurora can become a new beginning or dawn for me as well, and motivate me to become a better lover of my fellow man even while I struggle to forgive those who are intent on ending life or increasing suffering.
A welcome to readers
As a resident of this planet for more than four fifths of a century, I have enjoyed both successes and disappointments in a wide variety of vocations, avocations, and life experiences. This blog satisfies my desire to share some thoughts and observations--trenchant and prosaic--with those who are searching for diversions which are interesting, poignant and occasionally funny. I also plan to share recommendations about good/great movies I've watched and books and articles which I've found particularly mind-opening, entertaining, instructive. In addition, I can't pass up the opportunity to reflect publicly on how I am experiencing the so-called Golden Years. Write anytime: