Today brings news of another senseless tragedy with the deaths of at least 12 and injuries to at least 38 others at the hands of a crazed gunmen in Aurora, Colorado. One thinks that going to a movie premier should not be a dangerous event, and yet dozens of families grieve the loss of, and injury to, loved ones who just went out to enjoy a movie - it was a "dark night" indeed.
We are left wondering, what difference can we make? If we know the families of victims, we can offer comfort in the form of a listening ear, a meal prepared, a shoulder to cry on, presence at a funeral, or taking care of myriad everyday tasks that they will not be able to tend to in the immediate future. Grief consumes the energies of families whenever tasks tied to dealing with a tragedy occurs.
Everyday, though, we do have the opportunity to do what we can to prevent ourselves being involved in a tragedy - that is one on any roadway on which we drive. One tragedy of every day in America is that an average of 90 loved ones die due to traffic incidents. They die because they did not buckle up, because someone exceeded the speed limit, was talking on a cell phone, ran a stop sign, followed too close, decided to go out drinking before getting behind the wheel - and the list goes on and on. Every death caused by these behaviors could have been prevented by simply doing what common sense dictates that we should do; that is buckle up, put down the cell phone, observe speed limits, traffic signals and signs, create plenty of space to maneuver between ourselves and other drivers, watch out for children at play, pedestrians, cyclists, and motor cycles - again, the list goes on.
As we ponder yet another tragedy, may our prayers for victims and their families turn into concrete action to do what we are capable of doing to support victims and to do what is in our power to prevent tragedies on roadways, as well as wherever we find ourselves each day.