Like almost everyone else, my eyes are glued to the coverage of the horror unfolding in Connecticut. It makes no sense.
But I’m declaring a 24-hour break from Facebook. The responses to this unspeakable tragedy by some of my “friends” are making me too angry. And too depressed about the world we live in.
I think it’s human nature to personalize tragedy – on 9/11, I can remember people saying, “But I was just at the World Trade Center a few days/weeks/months ago.” When the awful shootings in Colorado happened this summer, a friend pointed out that the theater was within a few miles of his former apartment. Yesterday, a few friends made comments about how they had “just been” in a neighboring community to Newtown, celebrating Thanksgiving.
Yeah, but you weren’t there when it happened. It’s not about you.
I drove a car on the same day last January that one of my colleagues drove his car, got into an accident on the way home from work, and died on the side of a road. I would look like a lunatic if I posted on Facebook, “OMG – I was in a motor vehicle at the same time Dave was in his!”
It’s insulting to the people who are truly going through the unthinkable – their worst possible nightmares – to try to make it about yourself. It’s not about you.
It’s. Not. About. You.
People kill other people. Cars crash. Cancer kills.
Let’s put our attention, thoughts and prayers towards those who need it – the victims, the family members, the classmates of those killed, parents across the country who are desperately trying to find a way to explain everything to their children – and stop trying to make everything so damn personal.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hug loved ones a little tighter this weekend. We should. Something as senseless as this tragedy is a harsh reminder that everything can change in the blink of an eye.
That part is about you. And me.