2 April 2017
Because any question or comment is liable to get me singing the closest related tune floating through my mind, I started singing Change the World by Eric Clapton.
Yup, “If I could change the world, I would be the sunlight in your universe. You would think my love was really something good, baby if I could change the world.”
Then I got stuck on the love being something good. Wouldn’t it, if there were more of it?
Here’s why my mind is stuck on love.
Both of my stories for work dealt with tragic anniversaries. A new exhibit at Arlington National Cemetery marks the centennial of United Sates involvement in World War I. One hundred years since 116,000 lives were claimed during the Great War from combat and disease. Those were just folks from the USA. Looking at each country, the number totals spike into the tens of millions. That’s a LOT of people.
Sunday’s second story covered the kickoff event for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in a local county. The whole thing made me want to go weep in the station vehicle. Nine photos were perched on concrete stairs leading to a stage in the middle of a town-center style shopping center. Each photo represented a life cut short by criminal activity. From the cute little boy with chubby-looking cheeks, to the 18-year-old young lady who perished in the Virginia Tech shooting nearly a decade ago, to a 22-year-old who was gunned down, and his family still doesn’t know why.
Each photo represents an unknown number of family members and friends who are left to grieve absences that will never be filled by another human being on this planet. Ever. Each photo possibly represents an unknown number of first responders who may never be the same after working the crime scenes where these victims died.
Where do the tragic ripples end? I have no answer for that, but what seems certain is that somewhere, somehow, love for these victims was absent during the slivers of time it took to commit each crime. Can’t help but think that’s a truism, whether any victim’s life is taken by a stranger, an acquaintance, spouse, lover, or parent.
It’s not up to me to hash out each case and condemn any person. What I deduce is rooted in another song. The world just needs more love dipped in compassion and sprinkled with patience.
If I could change one thing to make the world better, that would definitely be it. Love. More of it. I’ll let it begin with me, and put it to practice the next time I want to curse out an awful driver on the Beltway.