Boston bombings: In the face of tragedy, Americans can find goodness

Three ways to cope when national or personal tragedies invade our lives. Photo: A candlelight vigil outside the home of 8 year old victim Martin Richard AP photo

SALT LAKE CITY, April 16, 2013 — “The sun will come out tomorrow”, is one of the most famous lines from the musical “Annie.” The orphan Annie dedicates a song to the fact that even though today may be filled with rain and despair, tomorrow there is always an opportunity for the sun to shine.

For many, in the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, the message of Annie’s song may seem like a lie. Wars, natural disasters, unforeseen attacks, and personal misfortune crowd our news headlines and in many ways confirm that the world in which we live is becoming an increasingly hostile place.

Bombs and destruction all across the globe seem to take not only buildings, limbs and lives but with it, our hope for the future. Today’s column will look at three ways that you can find “home” in times of struggle.

When Life Seems to Spin Out of Our Control

The first way is through the dance technique called “spotting.” Spotting is a term used to describe the motion where before and during a turn, dancers will select a spot in front of them and keep their eyes fixed on that spot throughout the turn. As the dancer’s body moves through space, in order to keep control and to reduce dizziness the dancer’s head will move at a different speed so the dancer’s eyes can remain fixed on this spot.

Life is much more complex than a spin on the dance floor, but often times we do feel as though our lives are spinning out of control. Just as dancers will hold themselves steady by concentrating their eyes on something constant, we too can concentrate our eyes, our minds and our hearts to something constant in order to keep ourselves oriented. Many people choose religion, family, personal goals, etc., as their constant. Whatever you choose, during times of trial, re-focus yourself on something constant in order to find balance in the midst of constantly revolving circumstances.

Second, look for the good in the chaos. Two days ago social media and news outlets were filled with fights about gun control, marriage equality and who’s to blame for the state of our nation. Today we are reaching out in love and concern for one another, putting aside our differences and trying to help each other heal.

Many of those who donated blood waited in a hospital where people were receiving care, doctors were delivering good news, and babies with their whole lives ahead of them were being born. We can see first-hand that the bad cannot stop the good. Whatever your challenge, remembering that there is good all around you can give you strength and buoy you up.

Spirit of Patriotism Is Still Alive

Lastly, recognize your own strength. The Boston Marathon is held on a day when we celebrate patriotism. Patriot’s Day is held on the third Monday of April every year and pays homage to the bravery and patriotic spirit displayed during the Revolutionary War.

Many discovered yesterday, however, that this spirit of patriotism is still alive and well in our citizens. Trials can act as a refinery’s fire, revealing to you and to those around you, strength and positive qualities that you were unaware of. As you navigate your own difficult circumstances, taking time to recognize your own strength will give you increase power to move forward.

These are three ways that you can find strength in the midst of difficulties. Many of us will never experience what hundreds encountered yesterday in Boston. We will, however, have tragedies of our own, difficulties of our own, dark days of our own that may feel as heart wrenching and as earth shattering as an explosion. 

As we fix our minds on something constant, look for the good amidst the chaos and recognize our own inner strength, we can emerge a conqueror of dark days and enjoy the sunshine of tomorrow that Annie sang about.


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Angela Trusty

Angela Trusty brings her great life observations and advice Communities.  Angela also authors   ‘Ask Angela’ which also appears bi-monthly in the Deseret News. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the lucky sibling of 5 sisters and 1 brother.

She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, but Baltimore will always be her home. 

 

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