Stop for a moment, before you say it

2011-01-14T00:00:00Z Stop for a moment, before you say it Arizona Daily Star
January 14, 2011 12:00 am

Be still. Be still and be thankful for what you have.

And when you hear yourself saying "Yes, but . . . " - be still.

Be still and be thankful for what we have.

Instead of looking for what's missing, or finding the shortcomings in another person's actions or words, think of the good.

So when the caller rings up, as one did Thursday morning, and demands to know why President Obama did not identify by name the two men who tackled the gunman on Saturday, and how could he not do that and why did one person get to sit in the front row at the memorial service but others were several rows back, and he should have said this or that - we have but a request:

Be still. Be thankful for what you have.

Give each other the benefit of the doubt.

Everyone in Tucson, and those around the country and the world, has been touched by the horrific shootings in some way. We are all, each of us, hurting.

The urge to criticize, to find fault and concentrate on what one thinks is missing might be a natural human response. But we should stop ourselves. It only adds to the angst and the sorrow that people feel. It drags us down when we need to be supporting one another.

There is no need to argue over who acted with greater heroism: the two men - identified as Roger Salzgeber and Bill D. Badger - who wrestled the gunman to the ground; or the woman, Patricia Maisch, who got the ammunition magazine away from the shooter; or the intern, Daniel Hernandez Jr., who put pressure on Rep. Gabby Giffords' head wound and held her up so she wouldn't suffocate on her own blood.

Each one is a hero. Recognizing one does not diminish the others. It is futile to argue, as some people have started to do, that one is more important than another.

Instead of concentrating on how we think someone should have been honored or how someone else should have acted, please extend empathy. Maybe there is a reason we don't know. Coming back to "yes, but . . . " does not change what has happened, and it does not add to the healing that must begin.

Instead of criticizing, find something good to say. Instead of diminishing the heroism of one, celebrate the bravery of all. Instead of finding fault, find the positive.

Find the way ahead.

Be still. And be thankful for what you have.

Arizona Daily Star

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