There is a steadfast wisdom in smelling flowers.
But this evening, I was reminded of some other things.
Today was the anniversary of the Pulse Shooting in Orlando, Florida. It is the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S. History. Forty-nine people were killed. Fifty-three were injured. There have been some memorial ceremonies to remember the people who were tragically killed, and injured, in this attack.
It was a very dark day in our history.
We have a lot of these dark days. Today, historically, marks a couple of other dreadful events.
In 1964, Medgar Evers was shot to death in the driveway outside his home in Jackson, Mississippi. His wife and children were in the house. The killer was white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith. You see … Evers was passionate about equal rights. He was a field worker for the NAACP. He traveled all around his home state and encouraged poor African Americans to register to vote. Edgars was instrumental in getting witnesses and evidence for the Emmitt Till murder case.
Another bad day in 1994. Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman were brutally stabbed to death in Brentwood, California, just outside of Nicole’s home. There seemed to be overwhelming evidence against O.J Simpson, and he became the chief suspect. Of course, this quickly caught the world’s attention. It was one of the most highly publicized trials of the century. O.J. Simpson was eventually found innocent in the criminal case.
On any given day, there is adversity. Wrongdoing. Outright evil at times. There is sadness, difficulty, misfortune.
I do not know why.
But, I do know this. It is important for us not to lose our way. Do not become bitter or hardened by this. There is no turning away from it, as it will remain. But instead, we stand tall and upright, in spite of it. Our good hearts should remain that way. Soft, pliable, open and willing. That is our answer when these things challenge our will. We love that much more.
It may start with the simple and glad appreciation of the smallest flower. It may rise to untold heights. We can see the joy in this, and the peace.
Yes, it is a risk, but that is what we do. We are courageous in this way. Our purpose is to create goodness and love in the world. I believe this to be true.
“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein
“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers