Press On and Live

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Yesterday after the word of the Boston Marathon tragedy reached Alabama, a colleague and Facebook friend posted this status update:

I think that the way we counter fear-mongers is we press on and live the life that's intended for us. Fully. Fearlessly. It's not easy, but it beats the alternative. By a lot.
These words struck something within me and convicted me too. When tragedies strike I often go quiet and I did just that yesterday. Even though I, as usual, obsessively followed the news for more information in an effort to try to understand why something so horrible had happened to these innocent people, I didn’t want to talk or even write about what happened.

This silence begins as an act of reverence. What good will a 140-character tweet do for the families mourning the loss of loved ones? How will a blog post help the injured heal?
So I sit in silence and do the only thing I feel I can do: pray.

But then my silence morphs into something else – fear. It’s because of fear, for example, that I started locking my classroom door after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. And yesterday when I glanced at my running shoes in the corner I wanted to throw up and I in that moment I never wanted to run again.
For years I’ve believed that it’s disrespectful to “press on and live” after there has been national tragedy or a great loss in the life of a family member or friend. But I'm starting to realize that not pressing on, that living in a state of overwhelming sorrow or paralyzing fear is actually most dishonorable. By not pressing on we let terrorists -- or the terminal illness or whatever it is that has rocked our country or our family to its core -- win.  

So I will press on. I will write. And I will run.
As Jennifer Dome of Stellar Fashion & Fitness states, anything I write today will not be enough. Anything I write will seem like complete folly compared to what has happened. So, as Dome writes, “All I can do right now is pray. And run. I want to run in honor of everyone who was injured or scared or anyone who responded to the scene to help. I want to run because we have the freedom to do so. We have the ability to do so. And no one can take that away.”

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