From the Bottom of my Heart

It’s been a weird morning, as they all are after a tragedy. First and foremost, the fact this feeling is something we are having to face more and more as time goes on is a bit devastating in and of itself.

I feel it necessary to share my perspective, because what happened last night, though it could happen anywhere, at any time, happened in a place that is sacred to me. I’ve had people reach out to me, my mom text me that she loves me, and even a friend hug me for an extra moment this morning because, very plainly, that could have been me.

It was only a month ago that I was in the crowd at a Jason Aldean concert, too. It was only two weeks ago that I was in a crowd for a concert at all. It will only be two weeks until I’m in the crowd for another concert. The fact that someone could very easily attack a group of ten thousand innocent concert-goers is beyond my brain’s ability to comprehend. This is what I DO and what I LOVE, as do all of those who were in that crowd. It’s unacceptable.

I can’t speak to the person’s character who did what he did last night, and I won’t try to. What I will speak to is the kinds of people I’ve met at concerts and those I’ve witnessed who put on these performances for us.

In my experience, I’ve watched people come together to have fun and enjoy themselves hundreds of times. Sharing drinks and sunscreen and blankets and, for me personally, offering up meet & greet passes (specifically to Jason Aldean). I’ve watched & participated in people dancing together and being their true free spirits with one another. People laughing, taking pictures, sending videos to their friends. I’ve never ever experienced that being interrupted by anything, let alone the type of disruption that occurred last night.

I’m sick of there having to be benefit concerts like the one in Manchester. It’s a difficult emotion to try and come to terms with, when one part of you is proud of these people for coming back together and facing such a tragedy to benefit those who didn’t make it, and the other part is really really tired of the need for such a benefit.

There is not a damn thing that separates me from anyone else. We are all human beings with flaws and positive attributes and hearts and families and wishes and dreams. To look at anyone else and tell them they don’t have rights, or physically taking away their right to life, is abhorrent. Look around you; do you think there is anything that entitles you to life more than the person standing next to you? I didn’t think so. But be mindful of the fact that, sadly, there are those who think differently, and sometimes they act on that thought. So to make up for the sad, sadistic ways – be a better person.

The more I grow into who I am, the more consciously I decide to be nicer to others. It is not something I have ever been good at, the inherent niceties that others seem to possess, so I am mindful of the way I act, the way I look at others, and the way I treat other people. From the small act of saying thank you whenever possible, to smiling at a stranger you pass in a hallway. It’s silly, but it’s a real thing. Though these small acts won’t bring back the lives that were taken from us in such a senseless tragedy, but the world needs more LOVE.

Bless you all, honestly, for reading and thinking of me at this time. I’m not the one who needs your thoughts right now, but I graciously appreciate all of them. My wish is for us to come together time and time again and not let the violence of others stop us from living life.

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