I recently heard the news of the unfortunate events that are taking place in Midland City, AL; which is not too far from the college I am currently attending. A man got on a school bus full of children with a gun. The bus driver, Charles Poland Jr, tried to stop the man from harming the children but the gunman shot him dead. The gunman, Jimmy Lee Dykes, then was able to grab a 5 year old autistic boy off of the bus and kidnapped him. Dykes took him to his underground bunker and there has now been a stand-off, hostage situation going on for many days. Police are not quite clear of his motive just yet (however, there is a pool of reasons to pull from) but so far they have been able to get medicine into the bunker and are informed that there is weeks’ worth of food/living supplies in the bunker.
This has become big news and a part of many conversations here in Troy, Alabama since it is happening so close to home. When I first heard of it, I was shocked that it was really happening and that it was only about an hour away. Such a sad situation is very hard for many people to cope with; especially since America is still shaken by the massacre that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
When events such as these occur, people begin to realize the importance of life and not taking things for granted. I have also become one of those people to appreciate more things in life. I know the saying that tomorrow may never come and live your life like today is your last day, but I guess I understand that I haven’t really been applying those ways of thinking.
When I heard that innocent boy who has no relation to this man was taken and has been kidnapped for several days now, without coming out to see daylight, it hit me that there are things beyond our control that may make us regret not truly appreciating certain parts of our life. So I have made it a task for me to begin to appreciate everything, from the small things to the bigger things. Fortunately, my faith in God helps out a lot.
So even when the world becomes dark, we can all remember that we can bring back the light through helpfulness and appreciation. My heart and my prayers go out to the families of Sandy Hook victims, the families of Midland City victims, and all others that have had to go through this horrible grieving and/or coping.
Sierra Terrell is a college freshman at Troy University in Troy, Alabama majoring in Psychology. Originally from Waldorf, Maryland, Sierra was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Maryland for 2012. Learn more about Sierra here!