This morning I shared a video on Facebook. Created by the people of Sandy Hook Promise, this PSA is pretty amazing. Once I watched it all the way through, I literally found myself doing that quick intake of breath when something takes you by surprise.
Watch, and then I will explain what I am taking away from this beyond the intended message:
OK, so if you had not yet seen it, you may have found yourself sucking that same breath in.
The message of the PSA is obviously that the signs of an impending tragedy are there - building, fomenting, quietly raging, but we don't see them. We look past them. Or even if we do see them, no one wants to believe it is that bad. Mass shootings happen somewhere else. Not HERE, wherever your HERE happens to be. Well, allow me to remind you of what I have written after each mass shooting we have witnessed from afar: HERE is a moving target. And your little hamlet is no more safe than my big city or his quiet suburb. Any town's name can change to HERE, USA in a heartbeat, or sadly, the death of a heartbeat.
So, obviousness of message aside, here is the other thing I am taking away from this PSA:
We all are taken by surprise because we - well, the vast majority of us - are decent, loving, compassionate people. Of course we invest in the little romance playing out in front of us because that is what we believe in. We believe in heartstrings, reaching out, young love, old love, all love.
And that just reinforces for me that what I cling to, what I desperately need to believe, is still true: The good people of this world still outnumber the bad.
Yes, keep your eyes open, pay attention, pay more attention than you think may be warranted (you literally may save lives), but never lose the innocence that still lives in your hearts - the innocence that allowed you to get swept up in Evan's search for his library table soulmate.