Goodness Begins With Me

This past weekend I attended the funeral for my sister-in-law's father. The evening of the funeral, our family solemnly received the news that a family friend had also been taken from this world. Then not 72 hours later, tragedy struck in Boston. To say my heart is heavy is a bit of an understatement. From my corner of life, the world is a sad, sad place right now.
But then I got to thinking.
The funeral was a celebration of an exemplary man's short, but beautiful and wonderfully cherished life. I left it wanting to be a beacon of gladness and joy in this mad, crazy planet like he did. He stared adversity in the face and made the most of every situation, even when it literally could not get any worse.
Instead of being overcome with darkness, I know all of the people that have passed on would want everyone to search for the good in the world, and spread it once it has been found.
If I can't grasp an understanding of why people are taken from this earth, and why people destroy the sanctity of human life, what I can do is love more fully, more deeply, and be a better friend to kin and strangers alike. We are all in this together. From the stranger next to us in line in the grocery store, to your very best friend. That random individual walking past looking solemn and somber is the child, sibling, spouse, and friend to someone who deeply cares for their perils and struggles in life, so why can't I? Even if it is just a meek, but warm smile that says, "I care about you, I love you and I want you to find happiness."
Goodness begins with me. If I want to help the world engulf hatred with love and swallow up chaos with peace, I will slowly be the change, one small smile at a time.
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