Tragedy and the Final X

Today my hometown was once again thrust into the arms of tragedy and violence. A shooter, now identified as Robert Lewis Dear, holed up in a Planned Parenthood office and ended up wounding nine people and killing three people, including two civilians and a campus police officer from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

It’s hard to go back to living your life and doing mundane things around the house when you know there were a few of people from here in Colorado Springs who woke up today and had no idea that yesterday was going to be their last Thanksgiving, and that they wouldn’t make it to tonight or live another day past today to see their family and friends ever again.

I remember seeing a calendar in my kids’ grandfather’s room on the day after he died from a heart attack in his sleep. I glanced at the monthly page as I was on my way to the bathroom. He had marked off every day that had come and gone with an X, with notes about what he’d done and planned to do for upcoming days. I stood for a moment and stared at the final X he marked on his calendar…and then I looked at the notes he had for the rest of the month…what he had on his to-do list for around the house, etc.

That final X has stuck with me. He didn’t know it would be the last X he’d mark on his calendar. He had plans, but he died in his sleep that night. No more notes, no more crossing off the days of tasks he completed…it was done, and so was he.

Sobering and sad. Life can be real shitty at times, but even during the shitty times, you are still breathing and living.

You never know when you’re going to put down the last X on your monthly calendar, or breathe your last breath. You won’t know if you’ll be here next Thanksgiving, or even tomorrow. In the end, life completes your tasks for you, even if you weren’t ready to have them finished. We all have a final X. You only have today, this moment. Maybe we should make sure all our X’s count.

Don’t you think so?

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30 Praiseworthy Virtues of Northern Europe

(**My comment: An excellent list to use as a guide for becoming a better person and living a more balanced and meaningful life — at least to me. These are all virtues worth cultivating, regardless of who you are.**)
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What are the 30 Northern Praiseworthy Virtues?

Definition of praiseworthy (adj)
Bing Dictionary
praise·wor·thy
[ práyz wùrt͟hee ]
admirable: deserving praise
synonyms: admirable, commendable, laudable, worthy, exemplary, creditable

Viking rules were simple

The Praiseworthy Virtues of the North

This list of praiseworthy ethics is taken directly from the lore of Northern Europe. Nothing listed is modern opinion but, instead, comes from the very words of our Northern European ancestors. Their wisdom and knowledge was recorded in the sagas and Eddas. This word-hoard to the English-speaking peoples in its legend, song, and story is our source. It is a very mine of “noble and pleasant beauty and high manhood,” as Sparling terms the Eddas and sagas in his introduction to the Morris and Magnússon translation of Völsunga Saga. These ancestors of the Northern European peoples are the source of what is thought to be praiseworthy. Their wisdom is timeless and what was praiseworthy then, is praiseworthy now. For a more complete examination of these ethics as they appear in Northern lore, see Trúlög and Sögumál.

What is praiseworthy?

1. Gifting is praiseworthy.
2. Generosity is praiseworthy.
3. Moderation is praiseworthy.
4. The maintaining of frith in all circumstances is praiseworthy.
5. Courage is praiseworthy.
6. The seeking of good over ill is praiseworthy.
7. Hospitality is praiseworthy.
8. Courtesy is praiseworthy.
9. Tolerance is praiseworthy.
10. The pursuit of wisdom and knowledge is praiseworthy.
11. The defense of freedom is praiseworthy.
12. Industriousness is praiseworthy.
13. Vigilance is praiseworthy.
14. The protection, nurturing and forbearing of kin is praiseworthy.
15. Showing respect for elders is praiseworthy.
16. Loyalty to friends and kin is praiseworthy.
17. Keeping an oath is praiseworthy.
18. Honoring the sanctity of marriage is praiseworthy.
19. Refraining from mockery is praiseworthy.
2o. Refraining from arrogance is praiseworthy.
21. Making kin, honor and justice more important than gold is praiseworthy.
22. Cleanliness is praiseworthy.
23. The maintaining of one’s dignity in all situations is praiseworthy.
24. Good organization is praiseworthy.
25. Persistence is praiseworthy.
26. The rule of law is praiseworthy.
27. To try one’s steel against an opponent fairly is praiseworthy.
28. Respect for the dead is praiseworthy.
29. For a man to never strike a woman is praiseworthy.
30. To not abuse one’s power is praiseworthy.

source: northvegr.org

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The shootings in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the place where my family and I live

For those of you who know that my family and I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, you also may know about the tragic shooting deaths that occurred downtown yesterday. Everyone in our family is okay, but please keep the families who lost loved ones yesterday in your thoughts.

The people who were gunned down and lost their lives did nothing wrong. They were minding their own business, just living their lives. Until a selfish, rifle-toting man bent on chaos and destruction mowed them down like animals.

We live about five to ten minutes from where the final shootout occurred, depending on the volume of traffic. We often pass through that intersection (90% of the time, in fact) when we head downtown. It’s in a neighborhood where nobody would think it wasn’t safe to walk, ride your bicycle, or stand outside on your porch.

We’ve often gone through that drive-thru at Wendy’s, as well as the McDonald’s across the street from where the shootout with police happened. There will never be a time that we will go by there in the future that we won’t be reminded that innocent people lost their lives there.

The people who were shot by the gunman were random people on the street, just minding their business on a Saturday Halloween morning. This was a senseless tragedy that did not need to happen. My heart aches for their surviving family and friends.

We do not have any other info than you may have read at this point. However, this is not something we could’ve ever guessed would happen here in Colorado Springs. But I guess that’s a refrain we hear all too often these days.

Thank you to the police officers who risked their lives to stop this man from killing more people. If it had been a Monday morning, there probably would’ve been more victims.

As you spend tonight with your family and friends, please keep the victims’ families in your thoughts during this awful time.

Thank you, stay safe, and much love to all.

(**NOTE: Please do not use the comments of this post to begin a debate about guns. Quite frankly, I don’t want to hear about guns right now. Right now I want to use this post to ask people to remember the victims and their families. Any comments that go against this request will be deleted.)