Now we come together. It’s what we do. After tragedy—and make no mistake, that’s what this is—we regroup, we learn, we get stronger, we get smarter, and we are better than before. It’s who we are. It’s what we do.
We know this, but we also know that this is different. This was self-inflicted. We see ourselves for who we really are. We have been forced to see who our family, our friends, our neighbors truly are. We can no longer deny it, and that is painful.
We also know that an enormous amount of damage can be done in our near future that will also have devastating effects on our distant future, and we feel that we have no control over that impending devastation. This is the anxiety and panic that you are likely experiencing—the shortness of breath, the racing heart, the dizziness. It is a sickening feeling of helplessness and desperation.
Take heart. You are not alone. Nor are you powerless. Far, far from it. Do not wallow in fear of what might or will happen. Take action. Speak out. Gather your kindred spirits. Bring together those who you know to be of good heart. Eat together. Laugh together. Do good together. Do so much good that it overwhelms this dark cloud that threatens to engulf us. You are good, as are the millions upon millions of others who surround you.
Despite what it may seem at this moment, we are better than this. We are great together and we will rise to be better than we are today. Continue to be good. Be joyful among children. Greet your neighbors with empathy and care. Be considerate and accepting of others. And above all, do not give up or give in. Rise to this great challenge. We need you.