Moving On

What happens now?

I had a chance to listen to some President Obama’s speech last night as I drove home from work, and I have to admit, it was very inspiring. After reading about it this morning in the paper, I simply wonder, “What happens now?”

In the wake of tragedy, that question is usually coupled with, “Why?”

After Biology class on September 11, the confusion and chaos was amazing. “Why? Why? Why?” On September 12, that question shifted to “What happens now?” What about the families of the victims? Will we seek revenge? Are we going to war? Questions led to even more questions.

Two weeks ago, I had no idea who Gabrielle Giffords was. As I read updates on Saturday about the shootings in Tucson, my first question was, “Why her? Why Tuscon?” I wanted details. I wanted answers, even though I felt detached from the situation. Tuscon is more than 1,600 miles away. The only connection I have to Arizona politics is that I follow John McCain on Twitter, but I still wanted answers.

I can’t even imagine what the victims’ families were thinking.

Last night, in his prime time address to the nation, President Obama shed light on the answers to the question “What happens now.” Ingrained in each of us in a drive to bounce back, recover, move on, and remember; and Obama gave us some words to remember: “It’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.”

It would be irresponsible for my to try to justify Saturday’s events with any form of logic, but, like many, I see impact that this tragedy has had on our nation. What can we learn from it? What can be done as we move on?

In your life, once the tears are dried and pain has subsided, ask, “What happens now?” Find a way to move on and make the next steps better than your last steps.

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