This I Believe

Terry - Akron, Ohio
Entered on May 1, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
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The other day I stopped in a local restaurant for breakfast. I smiled as I noticed a father helping his 4 year old son open his “Happy Meal”. I reminisced back to a time long ago when my son, Tyler, & I would spend a week-end morning at what we referred to as “men’s club” where Daddy & son would spend quality one on one time together. As I was recalling that marvelous experience, I was suddenly yanked back into a sad reality.

As his father was opening his son’s “happy meal”, I realized that this youngster was mesmerized by what was on the big-screen TV in the dining area of the restaurant. CNN was showing the vivid images of bloodied, dead teenagers being carried from the Virginia Tech classrooms, the tragic aftermath of the bloodbath senselessly inflicted by a crazed young man.

Watching with a look of horror on his sweet young face, I watched his facial reaction to the video sent to NBC of Cho’s raging diatribe of threats and demented explanations of why he felt compelled to commit this horrific crime.

The irony struck me that this was anything but a “happy meal”!

The tragic truth is that in today’s world, very few of us can enjoy a happy meal, or a happy day for that matter. As I witnessed that child losing his innocence, it became painfully apparent to me that we as a society have also lost much, primarily the loss of balance in our lives.

Our world’s culture has evolved to a point where we seem to thrive on the misfortunes of others. Perhaps this makes us feel more secure in that such atrocities have yet to touch us on a more personal level.

What we expose our souls to certainly dictates who we become. Throughout the history of mankind, many avatars have tried to teach the lesson: “So as you think, so shall you be”. If one allows angry and negative thoughts to enter the mind, one becomes just that. Positive energy on the other hand fosters the promulgation of peace.

I often wonder how many of us honestly feel after watching the evening news or reading a newspaper filled with the tragic events of the day. Do we feel better and are we empowered? Or are we weakened by that constant exposure? How many beheadings would there be if the media didn’t show the graphic footage of such atrocities? How many twisted agendas would fail to reach us? How many crazed individuals will now attempt to outdo Cho, knowing well that the media will somehow rationalize why we need and deserve to view such crimes against humanity? I believe we would be much better not exposing our souls to such negative energy.

The tragic loss of so many young lives in Virginia offers us as a society the opportunity to begin anew, to change the thought, to teach our children well. Expose our children not to the beheadings in Iraq, not to the daily bombings and murders occurring across this world, not to the Jon Benet Ramsey murder updates, not to the constant barrage of horrific scenes our children view in the movies or on television. We must provide our children and thus ourselves with a vastly different paradigm, the path of positive thoughts which will result in the manifestation of that which we all seek…….peace.

Our legacy to the next generation, whether it is here in America or in the Middle East, can be to offer a life much different from the one we have all helped to create. Food for thought: The gift to our children can be the taste of a truly positive life experience. Perhaps it could begin with a “Happy Meal”.