Tonight, under circumstances that brought tears to my eyes and memories back to the surface, I was reminded of the good that can live inside people. It was a reminder that a lot of us may have needed.

People spend a lot of time bitching. There’s no other way to put it and I’m definitely included in that. Traffic sucks. They got my coffee order wrong. The DVR didn’t record my favorite show. I’m swamped at work. Everyone feel sorry for me because I have problems.

Except these aren’t real problems. Your life is not ruined because of these things. Hell, your day isn’t ruined because of these things.

At work, I deal with people complaining all day long. Either complaining about their neighbors or complaining that their neighbors complained about them. They get nasty, mean, inappropriate, and just plain rude. They yell. They swear. They compare us to Nazi Germany at least once a week. Dealing with that type of thing day in and day out changes your attitude about people in general. It makes you lose faith in society as a whole. You lose hope. You assume that every call is going to be a bad one. You assume that the old belief – that people are generally good – is wrong. Why wouldn’t you? Day after day of complaints, anger, frustration… It wears on you.

Then there are nights like tonight. Nights when a large group of people gathered together to light candles and send up prayers or good thoughts, whichever they believe in, to anyone who would listen, to bless a man with strength and love at what is presumably his lowest point. He was miles away in a hospital after a suicide attempt, doctors and nurses doing what they can to pull him through. His family stood with us, prayed with us. I hope he felt all the love that he has in this world. I hope his family, his parents, siblings, and his pregnant wife saw first hand the support that they all have tonight and on the long road they have ahead of them, from all those in attendance.

There are questions without answers and some reasons we may never learn, but that doesn’t matter right now.

What matters is what we each take from this and the lessons we learn. What matters is that we all come together when needed.

What I personally want to take from this awful tragedy is what I felt tonight – standing in the middle of a hundred or so people – all there because they are good. People have an incredible capacity to be good, to do good, to share, to love, to cry, to hope, to stand back up, to stand together.

I don’t remember where its from but a saying I heard has run through my head these past few days. “It’s the events in our lives that shape us but it’s our choices that define us.”

Tonight was a reminder that it’s a choice we make. A choice to be the good in the world. A choice to be a better friend, sister, daughter. A choice to be a better stranger to those we don’t know yet. We all struggle. We all have bad days. We all forget sometimes that everyone else has those days too. But when push comes to shove, when all the bullshit is pushed aside, we’re reminded of what really matters in this life. Hug those around you tightly tonight. Love and let that love be known, felt, shown and shared.

Be better. Do better. Live better. Be the good.


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