If you’re a man, the toughest challenge to your manhood is being a parent.

I dropped Ari off at school this morning when, unbidden, the paranoia hit me. Could something happen to her today, to her classmates? And what of my friends who are teachers and teacher’s assistants? Could something happen to them?

Those are fears I didn’t have until last Friday.

Now, it seems, those fears and paranoia’s are running rampant. Movie theaters, malls, churches, our schools; those are the places we take for granted that we are safe. Our police being gunned down, how much do we appreciate them? We are quick to fuss when we get ticketed for things that are obviously our fault or when the teacher dares to give us bad grades for us not doing our homework.

Their jobs can be pretty thankless at times, yet without them where would we be, not only as a society, but as individuals as well?

As we learned how dark humanity can be this past week, we also learned how brave and selfless it can be. We saw the heroes who put themselves in harm’s way to save others. Just like our military heroes, they put themselves in danger to make sure others would be safe. That’s the highest and most noble sacrifice anyone can make.

Theses heroes weren’t dressed in capes, they didn’t have super powers. They simply loved and cared for the people around them, and that gives me hope. As I sent bear off with an “I love you”, it really hit home how blessed I and so many others are. We take these things for granted.

Love your children, love your family, love your friends. And love those who strive to protect us, teach us, and guide us. Strive every day to be better than you were the day before…make a difference.

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