They were mostly gay kids dancing in a nightclub, and their dreams, their futures, and their lives were snuffed out in an instant.
They will never know why and most not even how.
It has been a year- a year next Monday, and there are still not adequate words to explain the Pulse massacre. There never will be. In this world of ours, some things never make sense.
There is beauty and brutality; temperance and terror, long life and sudden death. There is inequality and injustice everywhere, but we wake each day with hope and optimism. There is no other way. Those of us whose lives have trespassed decades live daily with this harsh reality.
Still, kids who grew up playing soccer in Kissimmee could not have reasonably suspected that events and hatred in the Mideast would shorten their lives or shape their destinies. But then neither did the thousands who went to work in the World Trade Center on September, 11, 2001. Our challenges come without warning.
We would all prefer to have a bolder purpose. We would prefer to spend our days working for good rather than fighting against bad. But that's our challenge. We have to get out of bed each day and still care. And we have to act, within our capacity, to seek a newer world.
We don't live in a peaceful world. We live in a fearful one. We live in an era where balance and order are threatened. Random acts of violence and terror influence our lives and shake our foundations. Push yourself out of bed anyway. There are many wrongs to right. You can’t change it all, but you can still make a difference, somewhere and in some small way. Tomorrow may be beyond your vision, but it is not beyond your control.
You don’t have to make headlines. You just have to make headway. Do your part locally and save the world globally. Help a friend. Rescue a pet. Save your planet. Protect the environment. Eat healthy. Grow your own. Laugh when others want to make you cry. Defy the status quo.
This Sunday, a community of your peers will celebrate LGBT rights by marching for equality in Washington, D.C. Locally, organizers are presenting a rally in Fort Lauderdale at Huizenga Park on East Las Olas Boulevard from 4 to 6 p.m. Representing a cross section of activists from many perspectives, it's an opportunity to attend a gathering of people who won't give up; who still care enough to care about the world around us.
Attend the rally and you will hear the Gay Men's Chorus on one hand, but from women too, and a host of people who believe Earthlings need to have regard for our planet. You see, that's why people still bother. In the face of death and evil, there are people who still choose life and inspiration. It comes in small steps, supporting cancer clinics or AIDS walks, volunteering in a hospice or coaching a little league team. You have to go to bat somewhere. Why not make a hit in your hometown?
In a world that is too violent, find virtue in fulfilling your dreams. Spread love without limitation, decency without discrimination and righteousness without indignation. It’s a message not just for gay pride, but for your heart, your soul, and your life. Yes, building a sand castle on the beach can take all day. One wave can wash it away. Build it anyway. Besides, you can put it on Facebook forever. Create your forevers by each and every thing you do everyday.
No matter how senseless the world seems, from London to Orlando, while you are here, enjoy the ride, buck the tide, and make your own waves. The future may be measured in short moments or by long stretches. Make today matter.