Where were you when the twin towers were attacked? If you are more than 25 years old I bet you know. Just as if you are more than 60 years old you know where you were when you heard Kennedy was shot. How about when the Challenger exploded. Horrendous bad news seems to ingrain itself in our very consciousness. Does good news do the same?

For the life of me I can’t think of ‘good news’ that seemed to have the impact that the events I mentioned above did. We get good news all the time. Someone who is sick turned the corner and will get well. A baby is born. That loan you applied for is coming through. I got the job. She said “yes!” But somehow that good news doesn’t seem to have the impact of bad news.

In truth the assassination of President Kennedy didn’t really affect me personally very much. Sure it was a sad time and a revered leader was killed, but really, my life didn’t change much at all. The Challenger disaster had no effect on me at all. Certainly the good news listed above affected me personally much more. What’s that all about.

On September 11, its reasonable to take a few minutes and think about the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Although they may not have affected us directly, but they certainly affected the nearly 4,000 people who died, and their friends and families. Perhaps its important to consider the lessons learned from such disasters.

As time goes by and we are distanced from tragic events whether they be world wars, terrorist attacks, or even a Challenger disaster, we do have a tendency to take things for granted. Its easy to shrug our shoulders and forget the sacrifices some people made, whether voluntarily like the first responders on 9/11 or unknowingly like the passengers of flight 93.

Perhaps if nothing else, these bad news events remind us that we are human, that bad things do happen, and perhaps worst of all, evil exists in the world. They tend to rock us out of our complacency and remind us that our lives are pretty damned good.


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John Van Horn

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