*Note to reader: To the people of Newtown, Connecticut - nothing can be said to bring back your loved ones. No one can pretend to understand what you are going through. It is this writer's hope that the precious metal we call Life be eternally held as priceless by all of us going forward.
There was a story of a pride of lions. Scientists had followed this pride for over a year. Their social patterns were fascinating. The males sired, and the females hunted. They held court in their hard earned territory.
One day, the pride, mostly the females, turned on a young male. He was far off from being the alpha male but still, he was young and strong. The lionesses fought him tooth and nail until they drove him from the pride.
Left on his own, he would either suffer his fate and die on the plains or he would have to fight his way into another pride.
The scientists were baffled. Why had the pride turned on this one lion? They were so threatening that the scientists were sure had he not left the group he would surely have been killed.
Then a thought occurred. The young male had been acting strangely. Nothing too overt, but there were signs that something was amiss. He would eye the young cubs suspiciously and nose around the nursery too close for the comfort of the lionesses.
The scientists concluded that the pride knew something was wrong with this young male lion. In the law of the land where every animal fights for survival, it is essential that only the strongest DNA be passed on from generation to generation. Any break in this chain, dooms that line of creature.
The lions knew something was not right with the male. Even the scientists admitted later that he probably would have killed cubs if left to his own devices.
This was a true story.
Animals know what's wrong. They feel it. Their instinct for survival supersedes our social order as humans.
A lion does not need to be told that life is prized above all else in the universe. Every ounce of their being is bent on life and its preservation.
Humans? We can be different. Unless we are pushed to the brink - fight or flight. Unless a human is facing his/her mortality, we barely acknowledge our right to live...worse yet, our love of life.
We are afraid. Afraid to grasp life because it is a dragon and a thrashing one at that. Life will whip you around, throw you to the ground, and toss you to the heavens. Its teeth will snap on you. Life will make you bleed.
But it will also let you breathe. It will let you swim and fly. Life will make you wonder. It will make you sing. It will make you love.
Life can destroy, and in the same instance, mend. It can be maddening, perplexing, muddling, and a paradox from where there is no escape. And we shouldn't want to.
Life is challenging and laughter. It is thoughtful and kind. Life can be cruel and wicked.
It is the greatest treasure we can hold in our hearts. We often forget that.
Tragedy is solemn and serious.
We cannot wait for tragic moments to remind us that we, everyone on Earth and beyond, survivors of every day, are the universe's most invaluable living entities.
Now we have to share that. Share it going forward. With everyone.
If we all fought for Life, we would never cast it aside again.