When my boys were small, I learned to look at the world through their eyes.
It was fun to examine the little rocks or tiny flowers that as a busy, distracted adult I would have overlooked. I took time to let go of grown-up concerns and schedules and to experience moments of wonder with them.
Years later, I learned to observe my surroundings in a different, perhaps cynical, way.
Know where the exits are. Never let a creepy person block the door. Keep my car keys in my hand ready to run or use them as a weapon.
In other words, I became street smart. Well, maybe not smart but at least more careful, less trusting and more aware.
A few nights ago I attended an outdoor religious service in a lovely park setting.
I could not relax and enjoy the service. I was consumed with thoughts of a shooting attack.
Instead of losing myself in the fantastic music and beautiful scripture readings, I found myself scanning the perimeter of the crowd looking for suspicious characters or activities.
Too much bad news, too many visuals. I am scared.
But, I am not a deer in the headlights.
I will make informed, careful decisions about my activities.
I won’t hide out at home experiencing the world through television talk shows or surfing the net.
I will live my life. Not unafraid, but in the game.