Have you ever asked yourself why “Troop Reunion” videos are so special? You know the ones I’m talking about.
Dad, in his military uniform suddenly appears out of nowhere at his daughter’s school’s gymnasium filled with hundreds of people. She drops what she’s doing and runs into his arms as quickly as possible, seemingly unaware while those around her cheer her on.
Or perhaps it’s the scene in which the little boy and his sister are unwrapping a huge box at Christmas and out pops their mom, all decked out in her crisp military officer’s uniform. She smiles and then tightly grabs ahold of her unsuspecting and crying children, who could never have imagined a better present.
There are hundreds of other scenarios that I could mention and they all end the same way. A happy family reunion between a military relative and his or her family, preceded by an initial look of disbelief and followed by uncontrollable tears of joy.
For those of us watching, the reaction is basically the same. We watch, we experience overwhelming emotion, and we cry right along with the unaware military family members. Why is that? What makes it so special?
We’ve never met these people and yet we feel as though it is happening to us.
It’s our ability for one special moment in time to empathize with the family we are observing.
Just like the family, we understand the gut-wrenching emotion tied to having to say good-bye to someone that you love so much and the void that is left behind following the unavoidable separation.
We can also relate to what it feels like to be reunited with that person after a long period of being apart. It’s someone we have longed for, worried about, or often wondered if we’d ever see again.
It’s one of the most real and palpable human experiences that can ever be realized by a human being and we’re caught up in those same feelings when we view the troop reunions.
Suddenly, everything disappears and nothing else matters except for the magical moment when tears begin to fall and families are scooped up into each other’s arms. All pain caused by separation is gone and a sense of peace returns. Everything seems right with the world.
It’s that precious moment when hearts are so filled with love and we allow ourselves to experience what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes and recognize the humanness that is taking place.
Concerns about our differences no longer matter. The troubles of the world seem distant and nonexistent, if only momentarily.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could hold on to that feeling for a while longer? That feeling of being connected with a stranger because they are a lot like us in so many ways. It leaves little room for hate or disparagement.
I’m not suggesting we wear rose-colored glasses and overlook those that are bent on doing us harm.
However, what I am suggesting is being a bit slower at finding fault with others and overlooking their flaws; flaws that we all have.
None of us are perfect but we all have the ability, for the most part, to show compassion to someone else because we ourselves have walked in their footsteps at some point in our lives.
So, enjoy the feeling of love that permeates all of these beautiful homecomings and pass it along!
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