As I wrote after 9/11 (on my website), when horror happens, as it did last week at Virginia Tech, I believe that we as individuals and especially as writers can make a difference. We can be lights in the world.
As writers: We can help give voice to the deepest pain. We can help people feel connected. We can provide what may be deeply needed diversion in moments when life might otherwise feel overwhelming.
As writers: We can remind the world that in the midst of tragedy there is also heroism and kindness and love and a desire to help others. We can help to shine a spotlight on the depths of despair some people feel--and why.
Each day we get to choose who we will be—as people and as writers. Each day we get to choose: Do we sleepwalk through our lives or do we really go after the things that matter most to us? Do we reach out to others, do we live our lives with honor and integrity—or do we choose to focus only on ourselves?
May we each choose to add to the love in the world, to see the best in each person we meet and encourage them to live up to that best. May we recognize that we are all far more alike than we are different—no matter what the superficial differences may be. May we each choose to be a light in the world and by doing so help to shape, help to create the kind of world in which we want to live.