For the past couple of months, the world has been deluged by horrendous news events. One could easily come to despair. The media, with its focus on panic-inducing headlines, plays a role, but so do we by allowing ourselves to get caught up in the Outrage of the Day, the Panic of the Day. (Hurry, golf season! I’m less susceptible then.)
However, several recent events have been so horrible, it would have been impossible to escape them, regardless.
I’m at the library a week or two ago. I’m leaving with two new books. I reach the lobby just as a stream of children are flowing through the front doors. I step aside a few feet, waiting for them to recede before making my exit.
The kids are holding hands in series, a grownup in the middle of each of several such lines; the goal is to depart with the same number of children as they arrived with.
I notice the grownups are women wearing traditional Muslim garb. My first thought is to run. No, not really. My first thought is how self-conscious those women probably feel, given some of the recent news headlines.
That thought comes to mind, but it doesn’t linger, as I’m amused by the kids, and find myself enjoying the scene. The kids are quite young, four or five years old. A smile tries to form on my face. I hear a small, happy voice addressing me. I look down and a girl at the tip of a hand-holding line is beaming up at me. My budding grin turns into an unrestrained smile, and I return her greeting with a joyous, “Hey, there!”
The kids flow on into the library. I exit. I walk along the side of the library, headed toward my car. I’m replaying the scene I’d just witnessed when I detect unexpected motion to my right; a mother is amusing her toddler in the outdoor play area adjacent to the children’s books department.
The mother is staring at me with a big smile on her face, and I quickly understand why. She’s responding to the amused look I still carry on my own face.
There are horrible things going on in the world. We can’t let them overwhelm the good ones.
Merry Christmas. God bless us, everyone!
There were a million versions, and I didn’t know which one to choose. I finally went with Bing Crosby. I like the nostalgic sound of the recording, and then there’s the golf connection.