Monday, December 16, 2013

A Change in Perspective

You must understand that seeing is believing, but also know that believing is seeing.
-Denis Waitley

Watching the news does nothing but depress me.

Today's edition on every station covered a local story where a man was shot to death during a car-jacking. Evidence suggests that the man struggled with the carjackers before being shot. The events leading up to his death include him walking around his car to open the door for his wife and help her in. It is plausible to believe that his struggle with the attackers was more about a concern for her safety than for his car.

We will never know his intentions. But still, I have grieved for him today. I have listened to those around me clucked and chatted about these events, and have heard countless iterations of "It's just getting worse and worse," and "what a horrible world we live in," and "There are some terrible people out there."

And it's heartbreaking.

I get really caught up in these tragedies- not just for the loss of life, but for the people have lost just a little more faith in humanity. I used to have a very hard time seeing the good in the world, because there was so much negativity that surrounded us all. There is a media theory that suggests that because we have access to so many horrific news story, we live our lives with more fear than necessary. For example, we have seen so many stories of women walking alone in big cities and getting mugged that we believe that its inevitable, when in reality most women will never be mugged... we see it, we feel it-we start to see it as unescapable.

At my low point today, considering these things, I opened Facebook and started scrolling through my news feed. I came across a link to a page for a friend who has been diagnosed with cancer, and saw that he has raised over 6000 dollars to help pay for his treatment. Something in me sparked, and I remembered a page for a stranger, a girl named Laura, that I was on last month. Laura needed surgery for a very painful condition, and she had no medical insurance. Her friends, and their friends, and their friends, gave what they could to help support this girl. Her doctors had mercy on her. She had her surgery. And then a second after complications. And money is still coming in to help her pay for these things. These donations come in increments of all sizes, some as small as five dollars. But people, many people, are giving whatever they can to help her.

I made a joking comment the other day to someone about how all my friends were either college students or poor. He asked me if that wasn't the story of our generation. We are the children of a recession, of a breaking economy, and a lack of jobs mixed with an overdose of passion. But all these people with no money are coming together to remember that life is worth more than what we don't have... it's really just amazing.

My heart is hurting for the family of the young man killed last night. It is hurting for the families on the news today suffering from different tragedies. It is hurting for a world that seems to be sinking.

But it's not broken. Actually, it is hopeful for a new generation. I believe the lower we sink, the more opportunity we have to show ourselves strong, to reach out and help one another. I believe that there is a chance for greatness in every single one of us- after all, aren't we designed by a Wonderful Maker who instills part of Himself into us?

I will focus on these positive things- I will start to ask what we can do to make these kind of changes. I am uplifted that my heart has changed, that \ the hardship is not all I can see. I will stop watching the news, and start focusing on the incredible things happening, not just in my corner, but all over the world. Life is very short, and very uncertain, but we are given much. And it's meant to be shared.

In the midst of the horrors of life, we are given great opportunity to show what we are made of. And when we work with what we have, even if it's only a little, it makes a big difference.

If you would like to give a little also:
Sean's page
Laura's page

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