This I Believe

Brandon - LaFayette, Georgia
Entered on October 25, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Lightning Prayers

I believe that I am happiest when there is no lightning.

The last natural disaster in the United States occurred over a year ago. The last terrorist attack in the United States happened five years ago. The last big depression happened over eighty years ago. While we should never forget the tragedies visited on those involved, I believe we should also never forget the rest of the time when tragedy wasn’t visiting the world.

One night when I was seven years old, my grandmother stole into the spare room my sister and I were sharing to tell us a bedtime story. I was snug in bed and she was talking in a quiet voice meant to lull us to sleep. She told us to always take time to give thanks for something good that happened that day in our prayers. It is getting hard to remember anything that happened at such a tender age, but some memories tend to stick out in my mind. My grandmother’s prayer was one such memory.

My grandmother prayed for the beautiful day, for her family and for all the little happy things in life. Then my grandmother thanked God that the rainstorm had not been accompanied by a lightning storm. At the time, lightning was still fascinating to my youthful eyes, but today I realize that my grandmother was thankful that the power had not gone out. She was thankful that the lightning had not started a fire and that she could sleep easier knowing her family was safe from that threat.

When the hurricane devastated New Orleans, my family was safe at home in Georgia and thankful that there was a little rain coming in after not having any rain for so long. When the airplane flew into the towers, my school did not even cancel classes because none of the students that attended had family in New York City. During the Great Depression, my great, great grandfather got by selling hamburgers.

Does all that mean that I should feel happy about these disasters? Of course not, but tonight before I close my eyes in sleep, I will say a quick prayer of thanks for another day without disaster. I will look out at the clear night sky and be thankful that there is no lightning.