I’m not much for watching the news. Like, ever. When I do, I usually think to myself “oh, right, they should have named this the Bad News” because every headliner is about something negative.
The past couple weeks have highlighted that truth times a gazillion, and ended with me quietly sobbing into my popcorn on Sunday night while I watched my daughter dance to a Fresh Beat Band Special.
It makes me want to hide. For a really long time. Yet among the sadness, there was some good. I posted a quote on facebook about finding the helpers when things go awry (thanks Mr. Rogers), and slowly but surely those stories started to emerge. There was a man who helped a terrified marathoner calm down and get to safety, and in the midst of the chaos, asked her whether she’d finished the race. When she said no, he took the medal from his neck and put it around hers, and stayed with her until she’d been reunited with her people. How about the heroes who put themselves at risk to help those injured to safety? Or the countless residents of Boston who took dozens of strangers into their own homes to ensure they would be out of harm’s way while the dust settled…for every story like this that we’ve heard, there must be five or ten that we haven’t.
It’s almost enough to give me hope. It is enough to remind me that for all the darkness in the world, there is also light.
My daughter’s pure joy while listening to her music touched my heart that night. There’s so much that she doesn’t yet know about people whose minds go sideways, and who find rationale in hurting others for their own causes. I don’t know how to explain this to her, or, on the flip side, how to help her believe the good outnumbers the bad in this life. That moment of dancing and singing gave me some clarity, though – her pure joy helped me see that she can be a light in this world. She certainly is for me.
When she noticed me crying, my daughter asked me why I was sad. “I just remembered a story about something very sad,” I told her. “Was someone mean to you?” she replied. I explained that someone was mean, but not to me. She confidently told me “You know mom, there are always mean people. But don’t worry. Bullies never win.”
Not for long, anyway.