Are you PRO?

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Last week while speaking at Wayne State University in Detroit, I met so many wonderful folks – including a very special couple.This husband and wife team were present at my programs for future health care professionals, though neither are students. They came for an even more noble reason…

Their daughter, a graduate of Wayne State’s physician assistant program, was killed in a head on collision caused by a drunk driver shortly after starting her career.

As you might guess, I hear a lot of these kind of tragic stories, just by virtue of the fact I, too, have a story of loss.

Yet, when there’s a death…there’s no redemption.

Or, is there?

In the decade since their daughter was killed, this couple has handed out 19 scholarships to students in the same program their daughter graduated from.

To me, this is the absolute best way to honor those who’ve died before their time. Find something that person loved, then find a way to pass that love along to others.

This made me ask the question: this couple had every right to be angry, hurt, and have a blood lust for drunk drivers, right? But, instead of channeling their energy into hating the offender or pushing for harsher penalties or revenge, they honor their daughter’s memory by promoting the things she loved.

They are pro education. I’m sure they are anti drunk driving, as any reasonable person is. But, how do they channel their energy? Are they more pro education? Or more anti drunk driving?

Of course we need activists all around – we depend on groups that stand up to injustice! I’m grateful for those who inform and protect us. But, like most things, if we aren’t careful it can trap us in our woundedness – recycling the loss, suffering and victimization.

Where we focus our energy is where we are most likely to find ourselves encapsulating our choices.
When push comes to shove, I want to be “for” more things than I’m “against.”
I’ll choose to be pro, not anti, any day.


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