We need some healing, y’all. The world is seriously off kilter. I’m just one person, making my way through my days here in NYC. I certainly do not have any genius ideas for creating world peace or anything like that, but I do know that there is way too much awful stuff going on all around the world, and we can’t just continue to sit back and do nothing.
As seems to always be the case, many of us Americans don’t really start thinking about these things until something hits home. As a people, we were shocked out of our relative sense of safety back on 9-11, and anytime some madman with a rifle lets loose on a bunch of innocents we perk up a bit. Now we have these senseless bombings at the Boston Marathon. But if we take a look around, we realize that shocking and senseless acts of violence happen around the world every single day.
Did you know that at the same time as we were reeling from the shock of the horrific explosions at the marathon yesterday, Iraqis were recovering from a dozen bomb blasts around the country that killed at least 55 people and left nearly 300 injured? It seems this Black Monday was a global phenomenon.
Are you feeling as overwhelmed by all of this as I am? How do we wrap our brains around this kind of willful disregard for human life, the willingness to indiscriminately kill and maim, as an expression of… what? Anger at whom? Hatred of whom?
Don’t get me wrong. I understand that there is much to be angry about in this world. Injustice, exploitation, cruelty, inequality – these imbalances are as old as history, and the messy process of trying to right the wrongs that befall entire peoples will continue well beyond this time. I am talking about how we co-exist with one another along the way.
The names and dates may change, but the dynamics boil down to some basic fundamentals. Someone (or a group of someones) has a grievance. Whether it’s warranted or not is almost besides the point. Whether or not the individual choosing to exact vengeance, or prove some other kind of point is sane is almost besides the point. If you or a loved one is on the receiving end of such treachery, it’s all insane to you.
What we are doing is not working. The cycle of violence is endless. We can’t keep hoping that things will change without doing something to facilitate that change.
There are those who espouse individual redemption as the path to peace. If we each meditate on peace, practice peace in our own lives, live a peaceful existence grounded in a loving kindness, then this spirit will spread and make itself known as a kind of soothing blanket for the world. I agree that this is part of it. However, I suggest that it goes further than that. We need a new way of dealing with the people and situations that anger us the most. The ones that make us want to kill.
What I’m saying is that we need to each take on the job of reaching out across our own personal boundaries of fear, anger and hostility to the people who upset us the most, and see what we can do to raise up some healing. I have no idea how to do this. It could be as simple as looking at the people who piss us off more than anything and trying to locate one, just one thing that you agree on, and then figuring out a way to build on that. It will mean swallowing pride, being uncomfortable, acting on faith, stepping through fear and taking a chance that you will be disappointed.
Total inactivity is no longer an option, people. Remember that adage, if you’re not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem? Don’t be a default part of the problem.
Let’s just get creative. Let’s get a little wild in how we imagine stretching our comfort zones. They’re obviously getting stretched for us, so why not take back a little of the power and push ourselves a little bit in ways we think we can handle. Take a chance on healing something you never imagined would be possible to heal. These are becoming more and more desperate times, and I think they call for desperate measures…
Just for today, why not take the time to indulge some crazy healing idea you’ve been harboring. Share your ideas with others. There’s so much anger and pain and grief in the world. Surely, you can reach out in some direction to offer solace to someone who might be hurting. All that unchecked pain ends up somewhere, doesn’t it? It’s time for all of us to be more proactive and prevent more of this continued violence.
I realize what I’m saying may sound about as naive and simplistic as it gets. But seriously, people. Do you have any better suggestions?