Thanks For The Light

This month’s events can leave us feeling shaky…and thanks to incredible people, we give and take heart

Photo by Tommy Ferraz via  Unsplash

Photo by Tommy Ferraz via Unsplash

In the wake of a new year and all its possibilities getting shaken up by another shooter less than 24 hours after I write this, I want to dedicate this month’s Spotlight to those who see darkness and respond by bearing light.

By the time you read this, more than a week will have passed from yesterday’s events, even though I’m writing it only hours later. We’ve heard of many acts of violence in 2016 alone. What happened in Fort Lauderdale no longer feels like an isolated event, but another in a long and inconceivable string of shocks to which we may be becoming increasingly numb. Whether it’s in Fort Lauderdale and a single person or in France and a terrorist group resorting to violence, the pain caused and the repercussions experienced are the same.

As you know, our Monthly Spotlight usually steers clear of talk of current events, trends, and politics. We focus on the topical, yet timeless themes that we experience living a life.

But within what’s timely lives a bit of what’s timeless.

There are meaningful discussions on important questions of firearm policies, mental health protocols, support for veterans, and security measures. They are taking place as we speak, in homes, workplaces, public forums and, of course, online. I encourage you to join those discussions: be part of our collective enlightenment and finding a way to bridge disparate points of view so that we may devise solutions that lead to a safer, free world.

Here though, I’d like to shine the Spotlight on a few of of those who are bringing light to those in Fort Lauderdale.

My admiration and thanks go out to:

The city of Fort Lauderdale, The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Broward county and its local community members for mobilizing as quickly as possible and coordinate the security rescue and staging areas for people to receive the services they need and to reconnect with loved ones.

The officers and crew of all agencies, airport and airline staff who responded, risking their own lives to save and protect the lives of others.

The volunteer agencies, like the Red Cross, who are providing many essentials for those who are stranded.

The reporters and those on social media whose communication helped people know who was alive, and available support.

The countless people who, in the midst of an attack, helped each other. One mother of two described how a stranger shielded her with his own body while telling her he would protect her and not to worry.

Companies and every member of their respective teams, who made it possible to not only offer support, but to get webpages and posts up in record time to connect people with services. Companies and individuals including:

  • Airbnb for its “Urgent Accommodations” page and the property renters who offered their places for several days (which is how they earn income) for free
  • Boca Raton Ramada Hotel for giving 50 free rooms
  • Companies like Über who offered free rides. Über posted this on their website as an update during the aftermath: Our hearts and prayers are with all those impacted by today’s terrible tragedy. We know it’s been a long day, and we thank you for your patience as we work to get you a safe ride home.
  • Expedia and Visit Florida, who are, as I write this, still working together to assist displaced persons with accommodation.

These people inspire me and give me hope. With all the occurrences in recent years, the list of those who bring light is likely to be endless…and unknown. Please feel free to email us or post directly on our Facebook Wall if you are inspired by anyone or anything that has stepped up to make another’s life brighter.

Thank you for being extraordinary. Thank you for aiding those in tremendous need. Thank you for reminding us of the light in the world and that we can be part of it by bringing it ourselves. Thank you for the inspiration.