The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Making sense of sorrow

Why we need positivity

In the past few months, we as a local community and as citizens of the world have gone through our fair share of tragedy and hard times. It can feel almost like a constant barrage of demoralizing and disheartening moments. These moments can have the potential to pull us into downward spirals of grief or melancholy.

So in times like these, when we feel as though the world is falling apart or that sadness is permeating into our personal lives or school, local or national community, we seek out ways to cope and deal with all of the negativity.

One common way to combat negativity is to make attempts at its natural opposite, positivity. Often it’s easier said than done, but having some form of constructive or helpful support, be it through one’s faith, a memorable philosophy or even a favorite upbeat book, can assist in coping.

There are a myriad of ways of doing so, and no one method is the exact same as the other. For some, coping can really only begin after they have spent the time reflecting on the hardship itself.

Reflection through self introspection seems to be a way in which people work through hard times. Self introspection on tragedy allows people the moments of silence and solitude to work through the complex emotional toll that these kinds of experiences take. Reflecting on the tragedy gives people the almost invaluable ability to process tragedy in their own time, and thus begin to cope with it as well.

In other instances, being by oneself just isn’t enough.

Possibly the worst emotion to feel in conjunction with a tragedy is loneliness, and feelings of abandonment and desertion are awful in any instance. The ear of a trusted friend, family member or their wider college community, provides them the sound board some people need to fully articulate their emotional response to a tragedy. Joining and participating in a welcoming community, even just to talk one’s feelings out, is the most basic form of help one can engage in.

The beloved children’s entertainer Fred Rogers would often repeat a mantra that his mother told him to help deal with sad or scary news: “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Remember that there are people around who want to support and help us and our communities more broadly in our times of need, whether they are professionals, activists, or the friends and family around us who may be grieving too. It is in this camaraderie, this search for community in times of hardship, that positivity can truly thrive.

In an era of seemingly ceaseless breaking news, where we can learn of a casualty across the world and the death of a classmate in our own community in the same hour, it is imperative that we continue to seek out positivity where we can.

It could be in a majestic gesture of love, a simple, friendly compliment, an embrace, an affirmation. But they’re all there, and perhaps they’re all we need to pull through.

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