Remember students for positive examples

We are now enveloped in the tragedy that has befallen the family, friends and community of those who recently lost their lives.

We get through sorrow and experience it in various ways.

In the past: the shock-producing moment when we first heard the tragic news.

In the present: we process the implications of the vacant chair in the classroom, the empty bed in the sorority house and the enduring absence of those who had become part of the lives of their families and friends.

And in the future: we know our lives will go on, but will be different in some unknown way.

But perhaps more impenetrable than the “what” of grief is the “why.”

We grasp for answers or solutions, and none are there to comfort us. We are confronted with the age-old question: Why would a good God permit this to happen?

No easy answers arise to ease the heart and comfort the soul.

But there is a lasting way to remember them, to let their memory and vitality live on. More than a plaque in front of the sorority house or a scholarship in their honor, we can perpetuate their spirit.

We can adopt the most positive and outstanding characteristics of those who will not return and make them part of our lives.

We are then transformed into a sort of living memorial, a positive influence that permits their best qualities to touch all those with whom we come in contact.

In essence, they can live on in spirit through the actions and the attitudes of those left behind. We then become living ambassadors and witnesses to their best qualities.

There are no easy answers or explanations for this tragedy that will satisfy our intellect. But the grafting of the best qualities of their lives onto ours can touch and change us and those around us.

We owe them this. Being a positive force for change in our world is the noblest calling to which a human can aspire. It is infinitely valuable in its goodness and its ability to change so many lives.

We owe this to them and to ourselves to aspire to the best.

For the price that is paid is so high.

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