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Like many parents this week, I am struggling to remain optimistic. So many bad, ugly things are happening in the world around us. And while I don't live in Las Vegas, nor do I know anyone directly impacted by the horrific events that played out there earlier this week, my heart aches for those who lost their loved ones, for those recovering and for the city. My heart aches much like it did after Sandy Hook, after the two Delphi, Indiana teenagers were senselessly murdered and after Indiana University student Lauren Spierer went missing after a night out with friends. How can we find joy in such a dark world? How can we encourage our children to dream big while selfishly wanting them to stay inside, away from the danger and the unknown?
I've spent the last couple of days trying to wrap my own mind around what's happening in our country and the whole world for that matter. I've also intentionally searched the interwebs for stories about goodness and people who are truly working to make the world a better place. Because for the first time in my life, not only do I have to make sense of things that seem so senseless for myself but now I have to do it for my two young boys.
After listening to some podcasts (I highly recommend Oprah's Super Soul Sunday), journaling late at night while everyone is sleeping, and countless hours of Bruno Mars on repeat (hey, it makes me happy!), I've come to four conclusions on how we, as parents, coaches, mentors, neighbors and community members, can rediscover joy and encourage our children to do the same.
So yes, it's hard to find joy when there seems to be so much sadness, anger, and evil in this world. But it's there. It's just not as loud as the other stuff. It takes a bit of effort, not very much though, to find joy. And once you do, it's well worth it. For you and your kids.
"Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tunes without the words, and never stops at all." - Emily Dickinson