It’s been one of those days.
You’ve all been there. You’re watching the news – or in my case, reading articles on Yahoo! – and everything you see is just depressing. Another beheading by ISIS extremists. Airstrikes, talk of a new world war. A college student, only 18 years old, disappearing. An increase in cybercriminals, identity theft.
I can only scroll through so many before I feel a headache coming on and I think, enough. What is wrong with us? Why is this world such a horrible place?
But that’s when I see it. Just as I’m starting to give up on humanity for the hundredth time, I see something that catches my eye. It’s a video that’s gone viral, the story of a toddler who broke military protocol to greet his mother who was returning home from Afghanistan. (I’m sure you’ve all seen it, but if you haven’t, stop reading this blog post and go look it up right now. Trust me: you need to see it.) The soldiers had been instructed to stay in formation until dismissed, but when this three-year-old boy saw his mother, he just couldn’t wait. And the mother, forgetting her orders, dropped to her knees and wrapped him up in a hug.
I am confident that no mother can see this without tears streaming down her face. Having a three-year-old myself, I simply couldn’t live in a world where I couldn’t see his sweet little face every single day. The best part of my day is coming home from work to see him running toward me with excitement, bending down to pick him up to hear him say, “I love you, Mom,” as he hugs me tight and kisses my cheek.
I couldn’t miss a single day of this, yet this mother had to miss nine months of it.
And with this single story, some of my faith in humanity is restored. Immediately I am reminded of all the things I take for granted. And even more importantly, I am reminded of all those people out there who don’t get to enjoy the little every-day things…because they’re overseas somewhere, giving their all, risking their lives, so that people like me can live as comfortably as possible in this crazy, messed-up world.
So yeah, it’s scary out there. People are capable of doing some truly horrendous things. We aren’t safe in our homes, aren’t safe in malls or at the movies – we aren’t even safe in our schools anymore. It’s easy to watch the news and feel discouraged.
But it’s not all so black and white. For every terrible, evil act that someone out there commits, someone else out there counters it with something selfless, something good. For all the hate that people allow to fester inside themselves, there’s love blooming and growing somewhere else. We are complicated yet simple, hateful yet loving, selfish yet giving, crazy yet sane. We share traits that tear us apart, and other traits that unite us. It’s what makes us who we are.
A very similar situation, four years ago, inspired my debut novel, The Visitors, released just last week by Astraea Press. When I was watching some of the madness of the news, a thought occurred to me – If there really is life out there outside of the Earth and they are looking in on us, what are they thinking? The idea stayed in my head, plaguing me until I started writing the story. But as I started developing my “perfect society” out there on another planet, I realized that to create a perfect race of humans, we would have to give up so much of what makes our lives here so special.
So as I’m having trouble going to sleep tonight, I decided it was time to share these thoughts with all of you and ask for your feedback. In a terrible, wonderful, terrifying, encouraging, insane world, what makes this life worth living? When so much of the news is bad, what lifts you up, helps you get through every day and keep your faith, your hope?
Please feel free to comment and share any uplifting stories! You can find my book, The Visitors, on Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, iTunes, and other online retailers. Thanks for reading!
Book Trailer available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tsUJQZxukE