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In the aftermath of the attacks on Beirut, Baghdad, Paris, and Egypt, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. I’ve spent a couple of days reeling in shock, and have felt overcome with helplessness. As struggling young adults, will we ever feel empowered to be handed down this violence-ridden earth?

While thousands of people are mourning what they have lost, and millions of others are anticipating the losses yet to come, take this opportunity to remember all that you haven’t been denied. In order to truly stand beside the world in this war for peace, we need to keep note of the resources we’re equipped with. When we’re called to the front lines, we’ll need to call upon our internal reserves of strength. Being aware of all the goodwill, love, blessings and sacrifice in this world, will allow us to reign in this potential when it’s time.

So take this moment to reflect on all that you have gained (deserved or undeserved) so far. Use the cracks in this world to remind you of all that is still untarnished. And allow the gratitude to pour in — for all that you can stand for, and for everyone who has stood up for you.

Tonight, when you say your prayers, remember the innocent lives that have been lost.

And then, remember the friends and family who have shown you that they care. Instead of being engulfed by the shrouds of despair, remember — the strangely shaped clouds on azure skies, that friend who heard you out when you’d made up your mind to kill yourself, the dandelions you’d make wishes on, your wicked sense of humor, fresh cut grass, the color purple, your 9th birthday cake… Make a list of everything you have, to be grateful for. Channel your dismay into a prayer of thankfulness.

Do you remember how Harry Potter needed his best memories to conjure his Patronus and drive the Dementors away? Or how Percy Jackson could only retain his sanity in the River Styx, by thinking of Annabeth?

Every time the pain threatens to seep through the beauty, remember that only by keeping the light in perspective, can we expel the darkness. We’re tethered to this world, not by the discord, but by the resplendence. It’s our strongest source of power. Let’s harness it!


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