Hope Weathers Tragic Times

Sarah Orders, Asst. Editor-in-Chief

In the past two months, major tragedy has struck the US, first with Hurricane Sandy and more recently with the devastating shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Connecticut. Tragic events like this open the eyes of the American people to what is truly important and allows them to realize that all the trivial aspects of their lives are not as significant.

Tragedies such as these take everyone by surprise, which elicits a reaction that is truly spectacular. As horrific as these events are, they allow people to come together for something more than we can fully comprehend.

Although a positive light is understandably difficult to find for those directly impacted by these events, the unification of those that are left to weather the storm is a kind of silver lining. Society can be productive when tragedy creates a need.

And for some reason, which I believe has to do with karma, when people are at their lowest there are always support systems full of those willing to help.

They are there to offer condolences and do whatever they can. Whether it is donating money to an organization or putting on benefit concerts for the victims, society frequently demonstrates a willingness to help those in need.

That is what amazes me about tragic events in our country.  There are always people willing to help others when circumstances are at their worst. This gives me hope that were I to encounter such devastation, the same empathy and support would be extended to me.

Mr. Ingersoll talked to the Journalism class about how the canned food drive is not about winning but about helping others. Although the competition is fun, it is really about helping those that are less fortunate.  His message was clear enough, but it truly hit home the day I heard about the Connecticut shooting.

This time of year is not about receiving. It’s about giving.  Moreover, giving does not simply mean providing presents wrapped in colorful paper. It means spreading happiness. Giving not only helps those in need, it also reciprocates a feeling of happiness to the giver.

The holiday season is a time of unity in order to help those less fortunate, whether they be all the way across the country or here in the Contra Costa area.

Hearing about these tragedies opened my eyes. It has helped me remember how lucky I am and appreciate all the positive experiences and valuable people I have encountered through the year. Most importantly, it inspired me to consider what I could do to help those less fortunate this holiday season.