Waking up

This morning, my brain decided to be a jerk and wake me up two hours before my alarm. So many thoughts racing through my head–thinking about my kiddos, what lies ahead at work, going to brave a new fitness class tonight as a somewhat last-ditch effort to find something that will stick–I decided to get up and enjoy a cup of coffee and quiet before the day started. I fired up the ol’ laptop and checked the news. A suicide bombing in Ansbach, Germany. Immediately, my thoughts went to those affected, but then my brain wandered back to the coffee and day at hand. Then I stopped.

I’ve now lived in Germany for a little over a year. In the span of that year, we’ve seen a mass influx of immigrants and refugees, a murder spree at a news outlet in Paris, a rampage in Paris, a bombing at the airport in Brussels, a driver take out innocents celebrating their independence in Nice, and as of late, a shooting spree in Munich and now a bombing in Ansbach.

I know that in comparison, the blood shed here is nothing compared to that in other nations. We don’t live in fear of air strikes, we don’t live in fear of democracy tumbling down around us (then again, let’s see where the election in November takes us). However, it doesn’t diminish the fact that we need to wake up.

The recent attack in Ansbach hits home. It’s close to an American artery in Europe. The world has become an incredibly violent place (understatement of the year, possibly?) Maybe it was always this violent, and we’re overexposed with the instant gratification of social media. Chaos, confusion and fear mislead us. How do we fix this? Can we fix this? When does this stop? Why on earth can we not break down the walls and barriers to at least acknowledge and respect each other as fellow humans? How do we begin to wake up and stop accepting hate and violence as the norm?

There is still goodness and kindness in this world. There is still this magical thing called hope. Even when we don’t feel it, it’s there. Even when it’s so minuscule it seems invisible, the light will always flicker. We cannot become complacent and we cannot lose our compassion toward each other. We are all human. We ALL have that in common. We will never be perfect, but embrace the imperfect and embrace the differences. It’s part of our beauty.

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