This past week has been a tough one for many people. With the loss of a child to an alligator and the killing of 49 people in Orlando plus the finding of the wreckage of the downed EgyptAir plane, and countless other tragedies that weren’t front-page news, anyone who cares about human life has reason to stop and give a moment of silence for those lost. I’m reminded of 9/11, Titanic and other events that caused large losses of life. Throughout the work to figure out exactly what happened in Orlando, exactly what happened on EgyptAir, finding the people who died in the Towers, and finding the place where Titanic sleeps, we’re faced with conflicting emotions. On one hand we are so thankful and almost glad when we find out pieces of the puzzle, when we find any kind of answers because it means we don’t have to wonder quite as much. But on the other, to realize the immense loss of life and remember that we’re looking at the place where people have died and may never be recovered, hurts and may even make us angry.
With Father’s Day on Sunday here in the US I want to encourage you to treasure the life you have and the people in your life. Choose to be a father, mother, sister, brother, partner, boss, employee, friend, neighbor and citizen who is respectable, honorable, honest, giving, caring, compassionate and loving. Choose to become the best person you can be. Choose to make the most of each and every day, because as we’ve been reminded this week, you never know when it will be your last day.
Regardless of whether you lost someone you know in one of these tragedies, whether you are a parent, whether you support the LGBTQ community, or whether you even know anything about these tragedies or not, I don’t believe that “serves them right,” “good riddance,” “that’s the price we pay,” “whatever” or any other hate-and-ignorance-filled comments are the right response. Every loss of life is a tragedy. Choose to live your life to the fullest, to show compassion and love to those you meet, and make sure to thank and celebrate the people in your life that you appreciate this weekend, especially your dad, or the father-figure in your life.