[In light of the circumstances in Boston, I felt that this repeat column was an appropriate reflection of my feelings on this sad day. Although the circumstances are different, unfortunate parallels can be drawn…but some good parallels remain, as well. And for this unwavering sense of a united and common humanity, I am forever grateful. – Dave]
I started writing today about lots of bad news. It seems that horror stories have dominated the headlines recently. Terrible tragedies and bad people doing bad things are the big stories. Intolerant churches thinking that protesting gay rights at a funeral for two young boys horribly killed by their own father is a proper idea outrages me and makes me question much about this world we live in.
Questions about “how?” and “why?” and “what does it all mean?” confound me. As I began writing and thinking about these bad things and my lack of understanding about them, I was awakened to the fact that no one else understands them either. This made me feel better. It made me feel better because I realized that I am in the majority.
Most, if not all, people are outraged by outrageous acts. This is comforting. More people are good and reasonable and tolerant and simply sane than are creepy weirdoes intent on evil-doings. This is good to know. It is reassuring to me. All good people feel bad when the bad people do their bad things. The good people are us. We are the dominant force of the population. We are the strong and there are a lot of us. This is something to feel good about. We have little control over the bad people doing their things. These things can make us cry and break our hearts, but they should also drive us to be even better and do more good and show more kindness, more often, because we need to and it is the right thing to do, every time.
With this in mind, I will be sad for the poor boys and I will say a prayer for the church crazies, instead of wishing they were attending their own funerals, which is a very easy emotion for me to find. I will do this because I am one of the good ones. Just like everyone else, with a very few awful exceptions.
Today, I will be grateful for what I have and proud of what we have together: a world filled with good people. In spite of our differences: gender, race, religion, ideals, we all share a common underpinning of humanity which binds us: We care about each other.
Where the rubber hits the road and hope is lost… hope is found. We are of one single spirit united in grief and in a profound conviction to help each other. This matters and cannot be tainted or stained by the bad people. We are too damn strong. Good wins.
Thinking these thoughts, instead of lingering in the haze of anger and hate, changed my day. Pessimism about the future of our world was replaced by optimism. With so many good people, life is still good and it will always be good.
Tomorrow morning, my wife will wake next to me and I will bring her coffee. I will make my daughter’s breakfast and my son’s sandwich. I will say “have a great day” and “I love you” as they walk out the door. This matters, too, and it matters most. We all have these things and they all serve to make us the good ones. With so many wonderful people surrounding us everyday, filling the world with uniquely fascinating and kind spirits, we are going to be ok. Good wins.
[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, who extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]