by Dr. Sander Marcus
February 17th, 2018
On Wednesday, February 14th, 2018, in Florida, this country experienced yet another tragic school shooting.
The victims were not only the seventeen students and educators who were killed, but also their families, friends, fellow students and co-workers, bystanders, first responders, medical and law enforcement professionals, and others. For all of them, their lives will never be quite the same. And even for the rest of us, the impact is palpable in our everyday lives and relationships.
How can we best remember and honor these victims? One answer is that we – every one of us – make sure that we achieve the lives that are forever denied to these seventeen victims. And this means achieving the success, happiness, and meaningful education, career, family, and social goals that we strive to reach in the future.
Even in the smallest details of our educational, career, and social lives, achieving success and happiness means having clear goals, doing the everyday things that will get us there, relating to others in the best possible ways, following through, and overcoming the roadblocks that get in the way.
Roadblocks can be internal or external. External roadblocks are obvious, but internal ones may not be. We need to recognize and figure out strategies to overcome our own weaknesses, insecurities, mistakes, regrets, and other inner challenges that keep us from achieving our goals.
And this is true even in the smallest and most seemingly insignificant challenges. The student who says, “I know I have to read this chapter, but I’ll start it tomorrow.” The worker who says, “I don’t think I can talk to my co-workers about this problem.” The bystander who says, “It’s not my problem.” The friend or family member who says, “I can’t forgive you for saying that.”
These are the small, everyday challenges that keep all of us from becoming the achievers we are all capable of being.
President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”
Let us all redouble our efforts to achieve success and happiness in our educational, career, and personal lives. And through that, perhaps, we honor those who will never have that chance.
About the Author
Dr. Sander (“Sandy”) Marcus is an experienced clinical psychologist who received his Ph.D. from Illinois Tech and was the former Director of Illinois Tech’s Counseling Center. He is currently a career consultant within Career Services, and has decades of experience as a career and personal counselor, author, and consultant.