Keeping Faith While the World Goes Wild

Updated on October 4, 2017
Christina St-Jean profile image

I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more daily than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, & LGBT advocacy.

Las Vegas Shooting Oct. 1, 2017

What is happening to our world that concertgoers are no longer safe?
What is happening to our world that concertgoers are no longer safe? | Source

A World That's Coming Apart

In the last 24 to 48 hours, I have heard about events in our world that, as always, turn my stomach and kick my anxiety up. I have no idea what's happening in today's 21st century world, but to say I am not impressed would be the understatement of a lifetime.

Edmonton, Alberta - a city that was my home while I went to university - saw a police officer mowed down in what has been described as a terror attack. My sister lives in Edmonton, and when I first heard about the attack, I was freaked out. There's no other way to describe it; I was away from a television and social media for a span of about three hours, and when I first heard the words "terror attack" - words that the news has been using - I immediately thought of explosions and horrendous loss of life. I'm fairly certain that the driver of the car and later the U-Haul van who is believed to have been radicalized at some point was hoping for significant loss of life. I am grateful that all who were injured are well on the road to recovery, but as is inherent in the job description of a terrorist, the terror inflicted on these individuals will be with them for years. I'm also grateful that the attack was nowhere near as dire as I originally envisioned, but am disgusted that this attack would even be a possibility in Canada, where the suspect claimed refugee status.

I woke to news this morning of a mass shooting in Las Vegas. There are at least 20 people dead and over 100 injured at last report, and this was on the Strip, where if you want to have fun in Vegas and stay safe, the Strip is the absolute safest place to be.

That is apparently not the case anymore.

As I read about these attacks this morning over breakfast and tried to ignore the turning of my stomach, I have to wonder how the hell we maintain our sense of hope and optimism in the face of such wilful destruction?

Edmonton, Alberta - Sept. 30, 2017

The aftermath of the Edmonton attack.
The aftermath of the Edmonton attack. | Source

Optimism: It's About Survival

It would be all too easy after hearing of such heinous attacks to curl into a ball and hide in bed for the next 20 years or so like Rip Van Winkle and hope for better when we wake up, but we can't.

We have jobs to maintain, kids to raise, and relationships to foster and develop.

In short, we have lives to live, and even though we have a good many people in the world who choose to try and inflict terror by striking us where we live, we have to remember that there are good people in this world who want to make the world a better place than when they first came into it.

People like the passerby who saw the cop struck by the car in Edmonton and tried to ensure his safety, even though the driver of the car was intent on seeing him dead.

People like those who tried to rescue the people they could near Mandalay Bay on the Las Vegas Strip so that loss of life could be kept to a minimum.

I know that's really hard to do when we first hear of these attacks. My first instinct is to run upstairs and grab my sleeping children and hug them so tightly it's like they would leave a permanent physical imprint so I don't forget how they feel when they're hugged. I want to hug them and reassure them that even though the world is a very different place than the world I grew up in, there is still good to be found if they believe in it and work towards making the world even better as they grow up.

I have to believe that. Absolutely.

How can we convey that message to our children if we don't believe there's inherent good in the world in spite of all the really nasty stuff that's been happening lately?

We can't.

So we have to believe in the good.

What choice is there?

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.


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    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 

      2 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you for this offering, Chris. You've expressed so eloquently what many of us are feeling this morning. I agree with you, absolutely: we have no other choice but to believe in good amidst chaos and evil. Very well done.


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