News travels fast on the Internet. Actually, it’s one of the best things about the web. It’s also one of the worst.
This morning as I woke up and rather routinely checked my Twitter timeline, I came upon some very unusual tweets:
@davidjsmith1232 Awful. Horrific. Tragic. Thoughts and prayers to Aurora.
@John_Wall My love and prayers go out to all the people involved with Aurora Colorado
@MikeVick Lost for words @ the moment……
@DJJazzyJody So saddened and sickened by what happened at the Colorado theater. It’s hard to fathom.
I could only imagine what type of tragedy had taken place in Aurora, a suburb of Denver, Colorado. I’d heard of Aurora; one of my favorite mission companions was raised there. He made it sound like a beautiful, safe town, quiet enough but close to the city. Today that reputation has changed forever.
In one moment, just as a midnight showing of Dark Knight Rises began, a lone gunman entered the theater through an emergency exit, tossed two gas canisters into the crowd, and opened fire. The gruesome tragedy lasted a few moments, and the shooter left. 12 dead, dozens wounded.
It sounded like a scene from, well, a Batman movie.
The wake of this tragedy has brought all of us emotionally to our knees. So it’s with a broken heart that I extend my love and prayers to all the victims of this event and offer a few words of concern.
While no tragedy can be blamed solely on the societal conditions that surround a person (tragedy has struck every culture and in every age,) I think that this tragedy presents us all with an opportunity to reflect on the values we’re cultivating in our society right now.
Values once regarded as common morality are now considered out of date and out of fashion. Instead of glorifying those who do good for others, we’ve become fascinated by people whose lives are train wrecks…yet we still try to “keep up” with them. I’m afraid that our fascination has led us more and more to mirror as a society the “values” (or lack of values) we consider to have become “normal.”
While I may not be able to change the world all at once, I do have the power to change my world. So starting today, I’m going to make change happen the best way I know how. Instead of wishing for hope and change, I’m going to start working for it.
I will not be spending time or money on media that I feel glorifies senseless violence, classless idiocy, or sleazy living, and I will not support or celebrate celebrities who do. Instead, I will give my money and my time to organizations who do charitable work, who uphold and bolster values like giving back, believing in yourself, and helping those who can’t help themselves.
It’s time for me to start changing the world I live in. And in doing so, I hope that I can shine as a light to inspire you to do the same.
Please don’t let this unspeakable tragedy go by without using it as a time to love more, help more, and change more. Let those who lost their lives remind you that the only way to fight hate is to magnify love. The only way to fight poverty is with abundance. The only way to combat taking is by giving.
I don’t blame Batman for what happened in that theater in Aurora. And I don’t blame God. But if I can’t help create a positive change in the world starting today, I will certainly blame myself.