Don’t let negativity and tragedy win

Published 4:23 pm Friday, July 29, 2016

When you look out in the world, it appears that there is no hope anymore. It seems that every morning we wake up to news of the latest tragedy whether it is another attack around the world, a mass shooting at home or another event with a large loss of life.

Because of this a couple weeks ago I wrote a column about fear and how we have to overcome and learn from it.

The more I have thought about it in the weeks since, I have realized that what I fear is not the attacks or the tragedies themselves, but the greater impact they are having on us as a community beyond the loss of life. I fear that the endless barrage of destruction, fear and negativity will turn me and the people around me into cynics. That we will give up hope on the world.

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I don’t want to look out my door every morning without hope. To only see the negativity in life. To be scared of the world and hopeless that it can change.

Is there a lot of negativity and tragedy in the world? Absolutely. BUT and that’s a big but, it is only the surface of the depth of our lives that is marred by tragedy and negativity.

I want to continue to find joy in watching kids play outside without a care in the world as they run around catching Pokémon and maybe catch a few Pokémon myself. I want to greet my neighbors and passersby with a smile and share a small moment of joy with them. We can still find joy and hope in these small moments and these small encounters and that is why we continue to persevere and to live each day even with the barrage of bad news stories. I want to look beyond that surface negativity and experience the depths of life.

As Jim Valvano famously said “If you laugh, you think and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day.”

So that is my goal in life. Rich or poor. Successful or not. Whatever the future may hold for me. I want to look for joy and hope in the world and in this life. Because if we let the negativity and the tragedy win, if we loss hope in the world, then we have truly lost everything there is.

About Brandon O'Connor


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