Learning from tragedy in the new decade

Life seemingly comes to a screeching halt at random moments. That’s what happened just two days ago, when Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash. Only 26 days into the new decade, many who felt weathered and hardened by the sensationalist news coverage that had dominated the latter half of the 2010’s, were shocked to their core by the news. Our hearts go out to Vanessa and their three daughters. This tragic loss puts our time on this earth in perspective. His death is a reminder of the preciousness and fragility of life. People can very easily be here today and gone tomorrow. At The Suffolk Journal, we want to take these somber few days, while people grieve, to remind everyone to take advantage of every day. Life is beautiful and also fleeting.

Taking advantage of life is going to look a little different for everyone. For many it will be loving those closest to you. It is critical for us as a society to heal the wounds of reality with love. This love can come in the form of forgiveness, friendliness and affection. Our advice? Be kind. Smile at the doormen as you walk in and out of the library. Strike up a conversation with the person cramped next to you in the Sawyer elevators. Offer your seat to that person who cannot seem to catch their balance on the green line.

Kindness is something to savor in our ever so divided country. It’s unfortunate that tragedy seems to be the great unifier. At its core, life is about learning from lessons, and the Bryant tragedy’s silver lining lies in how we can all learn from it.

You may be asking, “How can I stay positive? Look around us!” With our president’s ongoing impeachment trial, the frightening coronavirus making its way into the country and rising tensions between the United States and Iran, it’s understandable to feel as if all is lost.

But all is not lost. We still have each other. We all have differences, but the amount in which we have in common is far greater. Negativity often ruled the latter half of the previous decade. But this year, and in this decade, we should appreciate the good things in life. Struggles early on do not have to be indicative of the future. Obstacles will rise and often it may feel as if there isn’t any point in aspiring for positivity.

Persist. Please, persist. Whenever you feel this way, think of Kobe Bryant. A young husband, father and inspiration to many. A life tragically cut short. Remember Gigi Bryant.  A 13-year-old girl with so much life left ahead of her. We owe it to everyone around us, friends, families, fellow students and our role models, to give our absolute effort in trying to offset life’s harshness with our kindness.

We at The Suffolk Journal wish we could give you all the answers, but in all honesty that’s not our job description. As journalists, we promise to give you the objective truth to the fullest of our ability, but your decisions lie solely with you. However, we are all rooting for you. Show patience. Be empathetic. Tell that person that you love, “I love you.” Do it now. This is the decade to appreciate your life. So from our team to you, have a belated happy new year.

~ The Suffolk Journal Staff