Our Hearts Go Out To ...

Dec. 14, 2012
As tragedy dominates today's news, we give thanks for family and friends. 

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There are times when it’s hard to understand our world, and even harder to understand our fellow human beings.

On Nov. 30, in Casper, Wyo., where I last lived, a man walked into a college classroom and shot his father — the professor — with a bow and arrow before taking his own life. Earlier in the day, he also had killed his father’s girlfriend, another professor at the college, near the home the couple shared.

On Tuesday, a man walked into Clackamas Town Center, right here in the Portland area, and opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle, killing a man and woman before taking his own life.

And this morning, in one of the most incomprehensible events yet, a man entered a Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked and killed 26 people, including 20 young children.

It’s hard, sometimes, not to feel like violence is encroaching upon all of us.

It’s hard to understand, to see anything but tragedy and danger, senselessness and evil.

And it’s impossible to imagine the horror and grief of the families who sent their little ones off to school this morning and who won’t welcome them home tonight.

On days like this I want, very much, to curl up and cry, or rage and scream at a world so very unfair.

But on days like this I also have to remind myself that it’s not all darkness.

I remind myself that, though evil does exist, though horrible things do happen, though loss of all kinds is so random and incomprehensible — people and our world, on the whole, are good.

For each of the monsters who would indiscriminately kill even innocent children, there are so many more angels who would fight back, who would protect people they have never met, who would stand in the line of fire to save a child.

As we prepare for the holiday season, my heart is with those families who are grieving rather than celebrating.

But I also am giving thanks for all those who work to make our world a brighter place.

I wish all of our traveling students safe journeys home, and I wish each of you the chance to hug the ones you love.