Wednesday, 18 April 2007


The events that took place at Virginia Tech on Monday are indescribably terrible. I just spent the last hour or so reading various pieces on the Internet about what happened and am suddenly struck with the reality of it all (made most explicit when I stumbled across the myspace page of one of the victims :s). I really have no words to talk about the specifics of what happened. My condolences go out to everyone affected in any way by this tragedy.

Right now I want to focus on the positives that can be gained from something like this, in the face of overwhelming negativeness. Events like this are important because they can make you stop, press pause on your own life for a minute, and think about life's frailty and how fortunate you are to have the life that you do. The most positive thing here is the expression of gratitude. Research has shown that expressing gratitude makes you happier (we've studied this recently), and therefore doing so is a simple way to gain something from all of this. Please do not mistake 'gaining' something with 'taking' something, as to do so would imply that one is greedily exploiting the situation. To dwell on these events needlessly would create a lot of depressive and anxious feelings (which I even started to experience after reading after my reading about the event). There is already enough pain for the relatives and friends of the victims as a consequence of this for you to need to add this unnecessary burden to your mind.

For anyone interested on reading more about Monday's events I recommend the Wikipedia page which has all the details you could ever want to know.

I came across an excellent article on the blog Obsidian Wings here, the author of which had a friend who was considering doing something similarily awful. A very interesting read.

Finally, an MP3 tribute to gratitude and life:

MP3: Destiny Calling - James
MP3: Whatever - Oasis
MP3: Mexico - James Taylor
MP3: Times Like These (live) - Foo Fighters
MP3: Picture of My Life - Jamiroquai
MP3: So Alive - Ryan Adams

And please, use these events to remind yourself why it is so important to live every day to the full.

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