It’s been a long while since I’ve written. Work got crazy. There weren’t enough hours in the day. I was tired. Overwhelmed. Drained. Distracted. Blah blah blah….
Truly, there isn’t a single good excuse for leaving you high and dry like I did. However, once I stepped away, it become incredibly difficult to get back in to my blogging groove again. I felt uninspired and, with the fully blossomed love that I now have in my life, writing about my personal adventures in dating just didn’t seem fair the the bond between Mr. Irish Eyes and myself. So, I’d begin writing a post…stare at it…erase it…rewrite it…then delete it all together. It all felt so insignificant, banal, and disgustingly predictable. I was face-to-face with my worst bout of writer’s block yet…and I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to find that inspiration again.
Then came Friday, July 20th and the Aurora, Colorado shooting at the “Batman: Dark Knight Rises” movie viewing.
When all was said and done, James Holmes, the suspected shooter, had taken the lives of 12 innocent people, seriously injuring well over 50 moviegoers, and forever changing the lives of so many.
It is always in the face of such incredible tragedy that people (myself included) are reminded just how fragile and short life can be, inspiring within them the strength to reclaim their own lives and live each day to the fullest. When such a tragedy strikes, I always have an overwhelming urge to call my family and tell them how much I love them. I reconnect with my friends, old and new. I dream a bit bigger and I love a bit deeper. Because, for all I know, my days our numbered, too.
However, in this particular tragedy, I was touched most deeply by the three men now affectionately known as “The Aurora Three.” These young men each died while protecting their girlfriends, throwing themselves on top of their loved ones to shield them from impending harm and potential death and, in turn, absorbing the bullets that would have most certainly taken the lives of the women they cared about most. While so many people in the theater showed strength and courage, these three showed truly selflessness and love, and they are a testament to the values of love and manhood that are frequently forgotten and passed over in today’s society.
While I am the first to stand up for women’s reproductive rights, equality in the workplace, and more modern family values, I frequently find myself yearning for the days long gone where the adage “women and children first” was a way of life. The most famous example of this belief was on the Titanic, when the women and the children were given priority to be saved, and the men uphold their code of valor in going down with the ship. And, while I don’t believe in living to such an extreme, it is interesting to think about how many men today would uphold this age-old code of conduct in the face of death.
To me, this what makes the actions of Jon Blunk, Matt McQuinn and Alex Teves all the more impactful. Society no longer shouts out “women and children and first” and people no longer look down on selfish actions in the ways that they once did. Sadly, we’ve almost become an “every man (or woman) for themselves” type of culture, and, in turn, chivalry is all but dead. So many people are too self-involved and self-important to put the needs of others before their own, even if it is the needs of those they love. But, for those of us who still value partners of a certain caliber, the selflessness of The Aurora Three is a not-so-gentle reminder that these values do still exist in society. And, in a time when so many are racing ahead to the next best thing, it becomes all the more important to slow down, appreciate what we do have, and love the ones who truly deserve it.