Thursday, October 5, 2017

Why Love Is Important by Tara Randel





When I had the idea of what I would write for this month’s blog post, I had recently come out of the hurricane Irma experience. Let’s just say there were two weeks during the month of September that were very stressful. Between the build-up of the approaching storm and the high panic level, and then the actual storm and the power outages afterward, I couldn’t really tell you where the time went. 

But since the massive event, other catastrophes have taken place. Another hurricane devastated Puerto Rico. And then, the shooting in Las Vegas. With a little time and space, what we went through in Florida has given us a breather and time to see that some people had it far worse than us.

So I had to rethink my topic. Then I remembered a friend once asking me why I write romance. My answer then, and still today, is that I believe love is the greatest gift of all. I especially love writing for Heartwarming, because we get to place characters in situations that seem impossible to rise above, yet they do, with a lot of character growth, inner retrospection and lots and lots of love. Just like real life. And for those going through hard times, reading a romance novel can be a much needed escape.

Before and after the storm, I experienced the giving spirit that truly shines in people. Yes, there are terrible, awful people in the world. But I came away from the Irma experience with renewed hope in mankind. Here’s why.

1. People are awesome.
Even before the storm when the stores were crowded, people were talkative and friendly, despite the fear. I’ve never had as many positive conversations in the grocery store as I did that week. “We’ll get through this.” “We’re in this together.” 

2. People are kind-hearted.
 After the storm, we saw neighbors helping others cut down trees and clean up damage. While we were much calmer in the aftermath, the conversations in the stores still continued. “How did you do?” “Everyone okay?” “Do you need any help?” 

Watching clips from the shooting in Las Vegas, I saw people rise above the fear to help others. The sense of unity in an emergency is universal. If we love people, we can’t help but get involved to make sure others get through the worst of times.

3. People are helpful.
In my city, people were helping others clean up and then attending to folks who still didn’t have power. While there are always stories of thefts and scams after a major weather event like this, I saw the vast majority of people looking out for others, those they knew, those they didn’t, who now became good friends.

4. People are generous.
Once the storm passed, there were plenty of people who still needed bottled water. I had bought extra, so we gave the cases away to those who had to boil water or still didn’t have power. Many others gave food and even monetary donations to help those who had been impacted by the storm, first here, then in Puerto Rico. The giving spirit showed no bounds.

I read this story a few days after the storm. As a reader and writer, this touched my heart.

A teacher at a local middle school came back to her classroom once the school had cleaned up after being used as an evacuation center. She teaches reading to kids who have difficulty or little interest in books. The white bookshelf in her room, filled with books the students loved, many of them signed by the authors, were gone. Completely gone. To say she was upset and disappointed is an understatement, but she told her students, “I guess the people who took the books needed them more than we did.”

Once word got out, YA authors offered to send copies of their books. The local library made donations. People sent the teacher money or gift cards to rebuild her library. As much as it initially seemed a tragedy, the teacher will likely double or triple the volume of books than before the storm.

Did I mention people are awesome?

The stories go on and on. If you watch the news, you’ve probably heard some of them.  My hope is that this wonderful side of human nature carries on long after Irma, or the other traumatic events, are a memory. Memories none of us should ever forget. We need to care about this world we live in, and the best way to do that is through love, whether in real life or in a book. 

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Tara Randel is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of fifteen novels. Family values, a bit of mystery and, of course, love and romance, are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Look for her next Harlequin Heartwarming romance, HIS ONE AND ONLY BRIDE, available January 2018 and her next Christmas Town novella in the holiday collection, HEARTWARMING HOLIDAY WISHES, available October 10, 2017.  Visit Tara at www.tararandel.com. Like her on Facebook at Tara Randel Books


19 comments:

  1. The timing of your post is perfect, Tara. I couldn't agree more with your thoughts on love. Thank you for this.

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    1. Thanks, Jill. I wish the timing wasn't perfect....but we go on to love those we come into contact with. Have a wonderful day.

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  2. I appreciate your point, Tara. Readers can read Heartwarming books to escape, but sometimes it is to a reality that does exist, even in the most trying of times. Relieved to hear that you weathered your storm!

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    1. I believe in times like these, the power of books is undeniable. Thanks for your reply!

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  3. So glad you are okay. Your post is very timely and accurate as to what we need.

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  4. People rising to the occasion is a wonderful thing to see after such tragedy.

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    1. Hopefully we'll learn more about the brave people in Las Vegas as time goes on. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. This is just lovely, Tara! So glad you weathered Irma and are okay. One of the most touching stories I heard from Las Vegas was of a young woman who held a dying man, a total stranger, in her arms so he wouldn’t be alone as he left this earth. Most people are good but we only hear, it seems, about the bad. I vote for ❤️.

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    1. I say we start Team Love! Everyone who helps and loves others is a member. Thanks, Leigh.

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  6. Thanks for this post. Such a good reminder of the basic kindness of most people most of the time.

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    1. Unfortunately we need the reminder, especially after back-to-back tragedies. Thanks, Virginia

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  7. A lovely reminder, Tara, of what really matters in life. Thank you.

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  8. Tara, so happy to hear you came through the event and are okay. It's hard to turn on the news these days since it seems one tragedy after another strikes. Thanks for focusing on the good side.

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    1. You're right about not wanting to turn on the news. With all the bad news out there, I vote for only talking about good things!

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  9. Glad you're okay, Tara, and thanks for a beautiful post. We have to keep hope alive and spread the love no matter what we face. And the story about the teacher, as well as the stories of courage and compassion I've seen on the news through all the recent tragedies...from the hurricanes to Las Vegas...have truly been heartwarming and moving. Peace to all.

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    1. Thanks, Rula. After all those beautiful stories of brave people, I'm determined to do better.

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  10. You are one of those kind, generous, caring people! I'm so glad you write for Heartwarming and even more glad that I get to be you CP :-)

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