So many things that we say sound like clichés when we run them off almost with not thought. “Tomorrow isn’t promised,” “make every moment count,” “hug your kids everyday”…until a tragedy like the Boston bombing strikes.
Many of us, myself included, immediately turned to Twitter and Facebook to send out our sentiments. Most of the messages were poignant, motivating, and inspiring. Sadly this has become the new normal. From catastrophe to catastrophe we bond via the internet for a day or a week or a month. It’s most likely because in a state of hopelessness, we feel like something…anything is better than nothing.
But it could also be hindering us from reaching out and actually doing the things that we write in 140 characters or less. How many of us really made any changes in our lives since the Newtown shootings back in December? Now here we are again, vowing to forgive, to let go of petty beefs we have with others, cherish every second with the ones we love.
I’m not hating on social media… creating global visibility using social media as a platform is my thing…but let’s not let our tweets and posts replace our traditional modes of communicating. A mass message is not as meaningful as a phone call, and a smiley face can never convey the warmth of real smile.
A good friend of mine who admittedly has time management issues says that part of the problem is once she talks about a project or outlines it, it’s almost like she’s completed the task and she loses the enthusiasm. The same can be said for social media. Once we’ve pressed “send” on the tweet or message of encouragement or motivation, we feel like our job is done.
But it’s not – more work needs to be done.
Let’s face it. It would be impossible for our emotions to remain at peak level weeks and months after a horrific situation that doesn’t personally impact our lives. We wouldn’t function very well if we took on everyone’s problems and carried it with us for extended periods of time. Those of us who are spiritual are taught to give our problems and burdens to God so that we can press forward and be of good cheer.
Somewhere in between the constant coverage of doom and mayhem we’re seeing on the news and the on-to-the-next-thing mentality has to be a place where we have time to create a sense of security for our children. As hard as it is for me to process an eight-year-old dying in a bombing at a marathon, it has to be triple that for my two sons. Especially when breaking news is delivered to them via the Internet instead of through a compassionate discussion with an adult who can filter some of the information, answer their questions and lessen their fears.
I’m going to love on them today, as I always do. But I also realize that I need to do more. Sudden tragedies do serve to remind us that not even a minute from now is promised.
What IS promised is an opportunity to make this moment count.