A Reflection on the Aurora, CO shooting
The Aurora, CO shooting has become a popular blogging topic, and for those who express their emotions best in writing, why not? Writing my thoughts down on paper just doesn’t seem to be enough. Despite being strangers to the victims of this tragedy, we all grieve the senseless loss of 12 lives, not to mention the injuries to so many others.
I’m not sure why this massacre has hit me more than the others. Perhaps it’s because most other shootings happened at schools, and in my mind, at those times, that could never happen at MY school. I was finishing up 8th grade at the time of Columbine, and I was in my last year of college during the Virginia Tech Massacre. I was also still quite naive at those times. But a movie theatre….such a simple place to go for fun. People go there to relax, forget about the world, and immerse themselves in fantasy for a couple of hours. I know that I often go to the theatre to de-stress. Those few sacred hours are also some of our most vulnerable because we are so ignorant of anything outside of that theatre. And who actually expects for that outside world to barge in on our personal time?
Some people reconsidered going to the movies this past weekend, but I did not hesitate to go see the new Batman movie on Saturday. While I really did want to see the newest installment, I would be lying to say that there wasn’t a little bit of defiance lurking beneath the surface. I didn’t want to let fear win. I didn’t want to let him win. And yet, I couldn’t help but to walk out of that theatre when the movie was over and think that I was lucky. I saw a movie, and I survived. And then I thought….what is this world coming to that I would even have such a thought?
At the end of it all, my reaction to the shooting is much like one of the victims’ reaction to her own survival of a mass shooting in Toronto a little over a month ago: “I was shown how fragile life was…” – Jessica Redfield (taken from her blog, here, about the Eaton Center shooting in Toronto) There are no words to express my thoughts on her narrow escape of a similar tragedy a little over a month ago. That event had Jessica rethinking how she approached life, and I can’t help but to look at mine and think that there is so much more that I could be doing with it.
I have recently been dealing with an internal battle about the path I’m taking with my life, and I have not stopped thinking about it since I heard about this tragedy. Last night I wrote a few lines down on paper that I will share. They’re nothing much; just my stream of consciousness at the time: If it all ended today, would my life have been worth it? Have I made some impact on this world, or will I just fade away into the blank spaces of the history books? They say that the flap of a butterfly’s wings can stir the air half a world away. How does one even begin to compare?
Life is too short. We must make of it what we can, enjoy it while we can, and put a smile on as many faces as we can. I’m not saying that we all have to change the world with earth-shattering discoveries. It is amazing the impact of a simple smile to someone on the street. Jessica (Redfield) Ghawi survived one shooting to have her life taken from her a month later in another, but she never stopped making people smile. That is perfectly clear from all accounts from her friends and family. We see it time and again with accounts of all of the victims.
I will continue to re-evaluate my approach to life and try to live it to the fullest. I urge you to do the same. And while you do, keep in mind Alex Sullivan, John Larimer, Jessica Ghawi, Micayla Medek, Jon Blunk, Alex Teves, Alexander Boik, Gordon Cowden, Rebecca Wingo, Matt McQuinn, Veronica Moser-Sullivan, and Jesse Childress. They are the names worth remembering in this tragedy.
Rest in peace.