This Saturday will be the 14th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School. Although this incredibly heartbreaking incident wasn’t the first or the last tragedy of its kind, the anniversary always weighs heavy on my mind because it happened here in my beloved home state. My sister’s birthday was the following day and she showed up to class carting cupcakes and brimming with birthday excitement, only to be met with a somber classroom and a teacher in tears.
I was in the 4th grade. Too young to really grasp the gravity of the situation, and for that, I consider myself lucky. Now, every year when the anniversary comes, I find myself another year older and with a greater understanding of what a tragedy like Columbine really means. It means that there is pure evil in the world. That human beings are fully capable of killing each other. That pain and death are real.
When news of the bombings at the Boston Marathon reached me, these realizations were once again upon me. When footage of the explosion in Texas came on the nightly news, I felt those realizations reaffirmed. With an already heavy heart, I watched the bottom line scroll across, reporting the poison that had been sent to our president and the latest details on the murder of two District Attorneys. It is too much. It makes me worry about the fate of our world. A world where death, destruction and hate exist.
I am an emotional person and I need to allow myself to be sad. To feel every emotion that massacres, bombings and explosions illicit. It’s okay to feel sad. To experience moments of despair. To worry that the world is growing more dangerous. Those feelings and worries are real and we as human beings, cannot ignore them. I know this. But I also believe there is so much good in the world. I have to. There is too much evidence not to. And I wouldn’t be able to move on if I didn’t. As hopeless as things seems sometimes, I choose to be hopeful.
Wishing you all a safe and happy weekend.