If you’re anything like me, then you’re “over” the Colorado shooting that claimed the lives of 12 people. It’s depressing, it’s scary, and, thanks to the media, it’s everywhere. That being said, I welcomed the Olympics as more than just a sporting event; for me and my fellow Americans, the Olympics are serving as a much-needed distraction from this tragedy.
I don’t know about everyone else, but for me, it backfired.
There’s no way you can watch the Olympics without thinking about everything that’s going on in the world. While I was watching the opening ceremony, I couldn’t help but to make judgement calls as each country went by. When I saw Greece, I thought about Europe’s financial woes. When I saw Japan, I grimaced because the Japanese government used money from the tsunami relief fund (something that I contributed to) to support whaling. When I saw Syria, my stomach felt sick over what’s going on there. When I saw the United Kingdom, I smiled because our best friends (politically and culturally) just pulled off one hell of an opening ceremony. I felt pride for them.
When I saw the USA, my heart was in my throat. Despite the drama that surrounded their uniforms (really, Ralph Lauren?), our athletes were stunning. They encompassed everything that we are. They looked powerful, diverse, proud, resilient, exceptional. It dawned on me, just like it has so many times before: this is who we are and no terrorist group, no crisis, and certainly, no homegrown madman is going to break us…
…and nothing will break me. I saw The Dark Knight Rises just a couple of days after the shooting. I’m part of the 911 generation, I know terror. If you think fear is going to keep me from seeing the latest Batman installment, you’ve got another thing coming. I’m not saying that I didn’t think about the possibility of copycats. I did and I even made a few adjustments. I wore yoga pants (all the better to book it in!), noted the people around me, and sat in the middle. That’s not fear. That’s being smart. That’s being adaptable.
So, that’s what I urge you all to be — adaptable. Let’s change and roll with the times, instead of letting fear debilitate us. Let’s make this world better. Let’s all go see the latest Batman movie and do anything else that we please.