Most days are full of mundane, routine tasks that everyone takes for granted. Half the time we aren't even aware of what we are doing. I often have moments when I can't remember if I put on the deodorant I am holding in my hand, or if I put my underpants on inside out, or wear the wrong shoes. There's safety in routine, and we're happy in our own little corners.
then something like the terrorist attacks in Paris happen, and you just
can't even. The world suddenly seems strange and awful and unsafe.
Even the familiar is suspect, and you eye your neighbors differently.
People, maybe people you know and love, went to a concert or went out to
eat, and now they aren't coming home. It is a horrible situation that
nobody deserves, and that darkness descends over everything. It's
The world has changed, you think. Maybe it has. The
world can be an awful place, where wars shatter families, and countries
turn away refugees. A place where children are beaten, starved, abused,
and murdered. A place where pets are tossed out like the trash. And a
place where terrorists can walk into a theater and hold people hostage.
Maybe the world has changed.
But that doesn't mean that I have
to change. I don't have to hide away in my house, clutching my child,
and peering out the blinds. I don't have to start stockpiling food and
water and batteries for the coming apocalypse. I don't have to stop
speaking to people, or hate them for being different. I have a choice.
I can fight the darkness.
I was diagnosed with cancer, it was terrifying. But there was never
any doubt that I would fight. Obstacles are to be overcome. Battles are to be won. I fight the depression, the anxiety, the despair. I wouldn't ever
consider just allowing things to happen to me. It's not my nature.
And I will do that now, with this fresh horror.
I will fight this new darkness. I will not be cowed by hatred. I will fight by refusing to hate. I will fight by refusing to hide. I will be kind to others. I will be a light in the darkness, even if it is a cliche.