Why Does It Take a Disaster?

open armsI woke this morning to a news report about the devastating loss of lives in Oklahoma, they began with the children. Immediately a quote from one of my favorite shows flashed in my mind: “the streets of heaven are crowded with angels…”

This morning I observed an enormous outpouring of sympathy, prayers and condolences on Facebook for the victims and survivors.

I imagine by this evening there will be an abundance of postings and pictures about appreciating what you have right now, live for the moment, tell those that you love you love them because tomorrow is not promised. All very valid.

But why wait until a disaster to remind ourselves of these things?

Because we get stuck in our own little, self-enclosed, safe world.

It is easy to tell the people we love that we love them and often say in as a casual, non-emotional, expected ending to a sentence. “…ok, I’ll talk to you later, love you.” Click.

When a disaster strikes it is easy for us to say, gee, I am so thankful for all that I have and I am going to make sure everyone I love knows how much they mean to me. But then life happens and the best of intentions are spread by positive quotes and happy pictures on Facebook.

The positive in this is, they know. Those you love, most of them, they know. You do show them, the way you talk to them, tease them, give them a hard time, check in on them now and then and can pick up just where you left off when it has been some time. They know.

It would be nice to give them a reminder, but they know.

It is the things left unsaid that are really the heart of this matter. The opportunities we let slide or didn’t fully pursue. The jobs we wanted to go after, the ones we wanted to love but were afraid of rejection, the new skills we wanted to master but didn’t want to look foolish in trying, the silliness we long to have but are too afraid of what others might think.

Why wait for a disaster to sit back and think, “I really want to do this, I should really get on it because life is too short.”

You think?

Go do it. Take the class, make the call, apply for the job and for goodness sakes go look foolish!

You may fail, you may be rejected, you may even get hurt a little – but guess what, you may not. You can succeed or you can fail, and if you fail then fail fabulously! Either way it is called living – and we need to do more of that.

“Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death.” James F. Byrnes

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

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