There are sometimes those moments when tragedies seem to happen all at once in different parts of the world. Despite lives lost in casualties of war (at home and abroad) on a daily basis, there are some events that take over the media’s attention due to the sheer number of casualties or non-sensical nature of the event. Most recently, the horrific bombings at the Boston Marathon (4/15/13) and the devastating earthquakes in Iran (4/9-16/13) are in focus. One event a force of nature, another based in man-made terror. How to process such suffering happening to our fellow man? This is a difficult question with as many answers as there are souls.

What I do know is that tragedies are an unfortunate aspect of life…just as joy is present to counter sorrow. Tragedies wake us up to the inherently fragile nature of life and remind us that we don’t have forever. We realize that we…or someone we love…could have been involved in that tragedy and gone from our lives forever. Or possibly that we lost someone in the event and are unable to process the fact that we are no longer able to express our love to that person.

In the event of the Boston tragedy, there are persons to hold accountable for the crime…there is the possibility for deep seated anger and revenge for those who have caused this devastation. For the victims of the Iran earthquake…there is only nature…there is no person to blame…one can only rebuild. Tragedies cannot be rated…one is not more tragic than another. However, what differs is how those affected move forward. One can blame, weep, or assist…it is always a personal choice.

The beauty within the tragedy (for there is yin within every yang) are the individuals whose hearts catch fire…those who leap to help their fellow man/woman/child…those who refuse to be immobilized by despair, knowing that there are those in need…knowing that they can do something to help.

Whether you choose to donate blood, financial assistance or volunteer to help victims of tragedy, know that there is always something you can do to help. My hope is that you will put actions behind your prayers and love sent to help those around you that need it. Hopefully this tragedy will also wake you up to the realization that there are always those around who need your help. As this site seeks to assist particularly children who are affected by homelessness and abusive situations, I would be remiss in not pointing out that these tragedies are a daily reality for some. Whether you donate or volunteer for an hour a week, you can put your love in action and change someone’s present and future.

This is my open letter to you…my secret hope is that your heart will catch fire and you will find opportunities to give to those in need and just do it! (Thank you!)

Photo source: heart catching fire (fire breather)