I’ve strolled down the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, watching children celebrate a festival in that city in the South of France and I don’t say that to brag about being in that beautiful part of the world.
Sadly, a truck was driven into crowds of people last year, killing 86 people and injuring so many others who were once again celebrating on that very avenue last year.
On that very same trip, I visited the charming town of Grasse near the border with Italy. I’m not sure where the term joie de vivre came from, but I always thought it might be Grasse, renowned for its perfumeries, until earlier this year when a shooter opened fire in a high school.
When I was covering football, I made a few trips to Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium, where a police officer was struck and stabbed Saturday night before the suspect was later involved in a high speed chase downtown, where he struck and injured four pedestrians.
Just one night later, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history took place when a gunman opened fire from Mandalay Bay, a resort and casino where I, like so many other Canadians, have been in and walked in front of while taking in the sights of the Las Vegas Strip.
I’ve been to other sites of recent violence – Paris, London, Ottawa, Quebec City, Orlando, to name a few – where fond memories are suddenly disturbed by such attacks that also have a lingering effect on the visitors lucky enough to not be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Yet, if travel is on a person’s bucket list, that person can’t allow fear to stop them from doing that for it is an ugly reality these days that these incidents can happen anywhere as the frequency with which they’re coming proves.
Fear is healthy if kept in perspective and it sure beats not feeling at all, a defence mechanism as we steel ourselves and look upon these tragedies as the new normal as each one passes by. If we don’t react, we’re becoming unfeeling and uncaring robots and if that happens, we’re victims of such attacks ourselves.
Perspective begins at home.
Recently in golf, hearts have been warmed by the tales of up-and-coming Canadian players Roger Sloan and Ben Silverman becoming dads for the first time or Adam Hadwin getting married and buying a house. In each case, they talked about the new perspective these life events introduced.
Sloan, in particular, talked about the importance of having something other than golf to focus on, which could actually have a positive effect on his game, easing self-inflicted pressure as his focus shifts when he’s not on the course.
You don’t get to the level that all three of these guys are at without having the physical skills, but it’s the mental side that carries them that much higher. In a season in which Hadwin has what some might consider off-course distractions with his marriage and the purchase of his house, he actually flourished with his first PGA Tour win, a round of 59 and a place in the Presidents Cup.
It is comforting to know that in an increasingly-anxious world, there are those who support you win or lose and any success you do have is a means to ensure the well-being of those who care. As Graham DeLaet once told me about his wife Ruby, she’ll always be there, even when his tour career is over.
It may sometimes seem as if humanity is disappearing from this world, but it’s humanity that carries us through the horrifying headlines of the day that make the day-to-day challenges and frustrations of business seem minor by comparison.
Hadwin, Silverman and Sloan are young men just getting their lives going with wide-eyed enthusiasm and while it might be a stretch to say we can learn a lesson from them, a better way of putting it is that they can serve as a reminder to the way we all were when we were beginning our careers and starting families.
The majority of us got into the golf industry due to a passion for the game and while profit and financial gain is an important goal, it can be a cold world if that’s the sole objective.
In an increasingly dangerous world, a golf operation should be an escape, a place to be entertained, the memories of a round with buddies only about fun among the trees and along fairways, away from the alleged civilization we live in these days.
Now, more than ever, we need such businesses that allow us to enjoy ourselves and socialize with friends and family while making memories we cherish, rather than detest.
As denizens of that industry, we need to be experiencing that ourselves in order to accommodate it.
That’s not to say ignore what’s going on in the world. In this age of social media, it’s impossible to even do that, but it’s also impossible to do because we’re humans, not robots.
We have compassion and we have passion for the people we care about – our friends, family, customers and co-workers – and for the careers we’ve chosen. A balance in life is necessary to get us through turbulent times.
To change the world will be a collective effort, but individually, proper perspective begins at home.