On Positive Action in Light of Tragedies

If you’re like me, you’ve spent most of the morning watching the coverage of the tragedy at the theater in Colorado. It’s sad to know that things like this can happen, and that life is so fragile.

As I watch the coverage, I feel the anxiety build inside of me, the fear of losing somebody close to me or my own life in such a situation. Something that seems to be truly random, and out of our hands.

But that’s it, it’s just random. Beyond living our entire lives in a shell, I don’t know that there’s any way to protect yourself from something so unpredictable.

Coverage of events like this often leave me looking for a distraction, on a sub-concious level. That distraction can be life-consuming, like immersing myself in unproductive things on the internet, going shopping to take my mind off of things, or just feeling helpless and out of control, and losing valuable time to fear.

By now, you may be asking: what does any of the above have to do with financial planning?

I had a great meeting last night with new clients, where we were discussing how important family is to them and some relationships that they’d like to invest more time in. I believe that’s a pretty universal feeling, none of us feel like we’re spending as much time with our loved ones as we would like. So in response to tragedies like this, I suggest the following.

Reach out to someone.  Call the friend, aunt, or cousin that you’ve been meaning to reach out to.  Find out how they are doing, and share the events of your life with them.  Email someone you haven’t seen in a while and schedule coffee, dinner, or drinks.  Find a way to break away from the negative news that surrounds us on a day like today and put some energy into the people that you would miss and who would miss you if you couldn’t see them tomorrow.  Spend your time and money on your family and friends, on creating the connections that make life worth living.

Let your positive actions today be your memorial for those that no longer have the opportunity.