Community Blog

The Calm in the Storm

By Bonnie Roberts

I'm trying to stay happy, even in light of yesterday's tragedy in Dallas and other horrific events throughout the world. It's not easy, and I struggle sometimes with staying hopeful, but ultimately I try to put on a brave face. Why? Because I need to feel that I am making a difference in my little patch of the world. I need to feel that I am promoting peace and helping those around me by shining a light in the darkness, by making their lives easier in whatever way I can.

I think it's important for us all to remember that we need to be that light for others, especially our loved ones. We need to be aware of how the news is affecting them and perhaps try to limit its negative effect. We need to be kind and realize that if people are being crabby, there might be some underlying depression involved.

We are all inundated with breaking news alerts and social media posts that sensationalize national and world events, and it's even worse now with the political media circus surrounding the presidential election. Let's face it, the media is in the business of selling newspapers and advertising rather than unbiased reporting, and unfortunately, I have found in my experience that many people base their opinions on headlines and unsubstantiated statements on the Internet. False "news" goes viral every day. (If I read it on Facebook, it must be true!)

So what can we do? My mom and dad were very wise and taught each of us kids many important lessons from a very early age, and they have always served me well. These are some highlights:

  • Be kind, even if faced with unkindness.

  • Be the voice of reason - refuse to listen to rumors or share unsubstantiated information.

  • Research a situation or story thoroughly before you pass judgment or form your opinion.

  • Always give people the benefit of the doubt.

  • Always consider a situation from both sides, looking at the facts and possible reasons for someone's behavior with empathy and without emotion.

  • Be honest, be a peacemaker, be compassionate.

  • Always try to improve a bad situation and help others by word or deed.

  • If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.

I'm not always successful, but I do try to live these lessons every day and to share my parents' legacy. I trust their wisdom won't fail me in these uncertain times. As Mom would say, we can never truly know what battle a person is fighting, but we can control our reaction and be the calm in their storm.