Love. It's a word we use so often. It permiates our world. Every greeting card on the shelf, commercials advertising everything from orange juice to luxury cars to antacids, our clothing, television and music... We love gossip. And reality television. And mean jokes. And terrible food. We say it when we don't really mean it and we use it as an excuse to behave badly. To an outside observer, it would seem like we love everything and everyone - even when we don't.
But with all the events of the last few days, I wonder...
There's a lot of talk about guns and violence and entertainment and surprise and fear and outrage and loss and sacrifice. So much talk about root causes and political change and mental illness, psychosis, and our failure to recognize what may be lurking in the shadows - or worse, what could be lurking in plain sight.
We are quick to cry, quick to blame, and quick to fear. We are quick to latch on to horror and scandal. I dare say... we love it. These moments that, horrific though they may be, create an illusion of camaraderie, a sense of security bathed in and solidified by fear and trauma. We are all a part of it. Together. And if we forget - even for a moment - everywhere we turn, a new newspaper article, radio, television or internet story is there - chomping at the bit to remind us. We eat it up. We savor it. We love it - even though we don't.
These are the days I am so grateful for the ability to unplug. To sit quietly in the moment and savor the beautiful. Take some time for the people and moments that bring true joy and true love into my life. I am grateful for the moments that have been good in my life. And I am grateful for the bits that have been extremely difficult. I am grateful for the people who have brought blessings to me. And I am grateful that I have family and friends who deserve to know that I truly care for them.
Perhaps we could do more by tuning out the outside world for a few minutes. Showing those around us how to show love and empathy toward each other. Maybe if we spent a little more time listening to the quiet voice in the background and inside our hearts instead of the loud voices on the television, we might find a way to a new kind of life. One better than we could ever imagine.