Reflections on Mass Shooting — Looking ahead

The news came flushing in on social media right when I was about to leave for dinner.

The highlighted keywords were all the same. Crossroads. Shooting. Stay inside.

I was this close to renting a unit in the apartment complex a while back.

I don’t know if I would have reacted the same way if the shooting took place somewhere a bit more distant and further away from campus.

All these years of seeing news of mass shootings and shows featuring psychopath killers, never has it occurred to me that something of that scale could happen so close to my own physical location.

I guess I was aware of the possibilities, but with the constant bombarding of news sensations, danger speculations became mind-numbing.

So when I snatched my phone and did the usual swiping motion to check my social feed, the words that popped on the screen became scribbles I could not seem to comprehend. It was almost a moment of disbelief and confusion. Here I am sitting in my dorm about to go for dinner, and meanwhile people were randomly being shot in an apartment complex just a few miles away?

People always say that when things like this happen it puts your life into perspective. Frankly I still can’t quite grasp what perspective is appropriate for this situation. Are we insensitive, unappreciative beings who complain about midterms when others have encountered life-threatening scenes? Are we apathetic, oblivious snobs who solely care about our own well-beings and live as if none of the worldly terrors affect us? Are we supposed to live in constant fear or simply resort to the mindset that what happens happens?

Is there a way to stop tragedies like this completely? I don’t know.

But I do know that caution is necessary. Gratitude as well. Be grateful that you’re safe and secure, but also be aware that things may happen at any moment with no way to prevent them.

Live each day as if it were your last isn’t such a perplexing saying afterall.