Many of you are by now aware of a mass shooting that occurred in Aurora, Colorado earlier this week. If you’re not, I apologize for making you aware, but I won’t offer any more publicity for the person believed to have committed this heinous crime by reiterating details here. It is sufficient to say that many happy and hopeful lives were cut short in a moment of terror.
Our newspapers have seen no shortage of mass or public shootings in the past year, or stories of filmed dismemberment, with body parts being mailed to government offices and schools. I think I am bothered not so much by the idea that crime continues but that crime is becoming more and more disturbing.
I’ve started trying something new when reading accounts of tragedy. I’ve found that, often, in response to tragedy, humanity’s brightest colours shine. Foes put away enmity; people become more charitable and generous of spirit; those around us hold their loved ones a little closer. After the shooting in Colorado, as police worked to remove a hoard of explosives from the suspect’s apartment, neighbours cooked the officers food and brought them water. It was a small act, but an example of the way that a community comes together in response to tragedy.
Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion… love actually is all around. — Hugh Grant in Love Actually (2003)
Despite all the horrors people might perpetrate against others, I do believe that there is considerably more good in the world than evil. Today, I am thankful for the goodness that exists.