What To Do In Times of Sadness and Hopeless

5 years ago

Yesterday, when I said April was a hard month, I wasn't just referring Snow-pocalypse 2013.

This year, it's been a month filled with illness and the cognitive dissonance that comes preparing for (eventual) change. It's also a month I associate with losing loved ones. Yesterday marked the ten-year anniversary of the suicide of one of my brother's childhood friends. So strange to think that the boy who was 16 when he shot himself would have been a 26-year-old young adult today.

It's a hard month all around and yesterday, it got a little harder.

I have much insight to share about yesterday's tragedy at the Boston Marathon, but my heart certainly goes out to all those effected by yet another senseless act of violence. I think we're all feeling a little numb and worn.

It's so hard to know how to respond to events like those yesterday, especially when you're far removed and there's no obvious way you personally can make things better. In times of national sadness, it can feel as though we're trapped in a hopeless, endless slate gray sort of day. The repetitive barrage of facts and figures from the news media helps us understand events like yesterday's bombings, but do little to heal our hearts.

So I was heartened when a friend shared this status from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts on their Facebook wall:

"MFA admission will be free today. We hope the Museum will be a place of respite for our community."

Oh art. You crafty devil. We love to cut your funding and pretend that capitalism heals all, but when we're really down at the mouth, there's nothing better for the soul than art.

So rather than feel helpless in the wake of yesterday, I urge you to make something beautiful. Just a little something. But do it today.

Write a poem. Sing a song. Do a dance. Arrange a bouquet. Knit a hat. Paint a picture. Send a letter. Bake a cake. Visit a garden. Tell a story. Find your way to fill the world with beauty and color.

When we create something beautiful, we create peace in ourselves and when we create peace in ourselves, we create peace in the world.

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