While traveling on business I found myself, once again, in a hotel gym. It's what I do on the road -- keeps me from being bored out of my mind and, presumably, it's keeping me alive and healthy as well. All good, I say. All good.
But today, while lying on the rubber mat in the middle of the floor and trying desperately to finish those ab crunches on my "to do" list, my gaze inadvertently fell upon the ubiquitous television on the wall. You know the one, it's in every hotel gym and fitness center -- usually found mounted in fifteen different places along the perimeter or jammed in your face while you slog away on the treadmill. I usually drape a towel over those, having never understood how it's helpful to concentrate on something other than your own body while you're trying to make it strong and healthy. But hey, that's just me.
Not surprisingly, what I saw today was more of the same from yesterday and the day before. More terrorist this and terrorist that, only now laced with chemical scares and failed suicide bombers and videos of blood spilled all over the luxury carpet of a hotel far away; a hotel not unlike the one in which I found myself this morning. The tragedy, the chaos, the sheer unrecognizable humanity that once was. It was beyond depressing. And no matter where I turned, those images -- or their reflection in the surrounding mirrors -- kept cramming themselves down my throat, threatening to choke me with their sorrow.
I closed my eyes. I wanted to shout at the poor, unsuspecting trainer wandering about the room to "just turn it off!" as he, too, seemed beaten by the din.
But I didn't. No one did. Instead, we all went about our business trying to ignore the replays of the screaming and crying and dying. Like a festering wound that never heals, the tragic scenes were replayed over and over and over again. It's no wonder that at some point we all become anesthetized to it. It's soul crushing.
But I'd rather not have my soul crushed today.
Today I'd rather live. Today I'd rather be grateful for the joy in my life and send the light of that joy across the world. It is enough to know of the horror without melting into it. It is enough.
Just turn it off.