What Can You Do With Joy When There Is So Much Hurt In The World?

Beautiful beaches of Costa Rica with threatening storms in background make great representation of life--the beauty and the storms. The joy and the sorrow.

It was just supposed to be a short vacation.

Not a chance to learn yet another life lesson.

A chance to not work my brain and my heart so hard.

That’s what I was thinking last week as my travel wizard husband pulled one of his miles miracles and flew us off to Costa Rica.


Just us.

No kids.

No worries.

That was the idea.

At least.

Until reality came crashing into paradise.

“Did you hear what happened in Orlando?” Husband asked on the second day, as I woke up from an alarm-clock free slumber.

I reached for my phone and started following.

  The awful events.

That we all know too well by now.

The young people.

Lives cut short.

Just some of the beautiful faces of the young people whose lives were cut short at The Pulse Nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016.

Just some of the beautiful faces of the young people whose lives were cut short at The Pulse Nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016.

The hate.

The horror.

I took in updates as fast as I could get them.

Alerts from paradise started breaking into my focus on the news.

“Time to take the Barista Class,” my phone reminded me.

“Explore the Rain Forest. Stand up paddle board” were on the calendar for later.

As I tried to laser focus on the breaking news, I wanted to swat these fun, joyful experiences away like pesky mosquitos.

How am I supposed to experience joy when others are hurting?

This wasn’t just a current events question.

It’s something I think about.

Quite often.

What about you, Dear Reader?

Forget greener.

Do you, too, tend to be a “Grass is always browner,” type of thinker?

How can I embrace joy when others are hurting?


How can I enjoy my husband when I know I have friends who are single and lonely?

How can I allow myself a vacation when my mother is too weak to travel?

How can I just go play when precious lives have snuffed out?

The list of denying joy can go on and on.

Yet, even as I worry and focus on other’s pain and struggles, I sense I’m getting something wrong.

That this is not an attribute to boast about.

My thousandth time checking up on the latest from Orlando, it struck me.

One Snapchat video.

Shot by 25-year-old Amanda Aleavar from inside The Pulse nightclub.

A 30 second clip where the last 10 seconds you hear rounds of gunfire.

Tragically, Amanda would become one of the 49 dead.

It is truly jarring and terrifying.

But it’s the first 15 seconds that also caught my attention.

These young people were dancing.

Until their final moment,

They danced.

Dancing and happy times of joy at The Pulse nightclub before the awful massacre of June 12, 2016.

Dancing and happy times of joy at The Pulse nightclub before the awful massacre of June 12, 2016.

For all the dances they can’t.

For all the times I can’t.

When I can dance, I must.

We must.

It’s not choosing

Of feeling pain,

Responsibility

Or choosing joy.

It’s an “And.”

Care.

Make the difference where I can.

And.

And I have to dance.

I ask you to do the same.

To dance.

To paddle board.

To swing through a jungle.

Do it.

Simply because you can.

When you can.

Because it’s one way to help.

To say darkness doesn’t win.

For those kids on the dance floor.

Let joy win.

Husband actually rocked the barista class at the Costa Rican resort where we stayed. So, yeah. We danced.

Husband actually rocked the barista class at the Costa Rican resort where we stayed. So, yeah, we danced.

(((Please catch my column each week in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Dayton Daily News and other Cox Newspapers across the country.)

And if you like my column about figuring out this marriage thing, you might like my book–

“Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts On Losing Her Job, Finding Love, A New Career, And My Dog, Always My Dog.”

final front cover

Comments

comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

What Can You Do With Joy When There Is So Much Hurt In The World?

by DarynKagan time to read: 3 min
0