And maybe I'm just a big sap but I'm teary-eyed writing even that paragraph, because by God does my heart go out to them all. From the children being pulled from the rubble to the parents frantically searching for them, to loved ones torn apart... But then in the face of tragedy there are always moments to cherish, like all the people who came to others' aid; pulling men and women from wreckage; teachers using their own bodies to protect those of their students from the crashing school walls all around them; other teachers carrying their students to safety, ignoring their own injuries; two bloodied and injured horses literally comforting one another after the storm passed; the young nurse who stopped to comfort a torn up, dying dog in its last few moments on earth. It was those photos that touched me most, that brought the tears to my eyes. The helping. The nurturing. The extension of oneself on behalf of another.
There are always heroes that crop up in extraordinary circumstances. There are always those who will stop in the middle of the mayhem to put themselves aside and put another person ahead in terms of priority. But that's not the only time to extend ourselves to others. Every day there are opportunities for all of us to reach out, grab someone's hand, and help them, whether it's with their groceries on a rainy day or helping a three year old find the rabbit pens at the fair. It is a beautiful thing to do. It is a beautiful thing to give, and to receive. And we should try and make it happen every day.