I am compelled to reach out to each of you during these very challenging times in which seeds of terror are being sown all around and within us. The Paris and Lebanon attacks remind us that we currently face an extremely dangerous situation that is not going to resolve itself by itself.
Please allow me to offer what I can to tend the wounds and hopefully contribute some useful ideas toward a solution. But first, let us stop for a moment and offer our thoughts and or prayers for all who have been impacted and affected by these horrific times of hatred and violence.
Now, take a really deep breath, a brief pause, and a long exhale. Notice that the sun still rises and sets, the sky is still blue, and the grass is still green (maybe not everywhere, but you get the point). Be reminded that while things are indeed quite bad, it is not over. Hope is still possible, and actually quite essential if we are going to be able to repair the deep wounds of humanity.
No, I am not asking that we try to escape or ignore the problem, but that we begin to address the problem by first grounding and centering ourselves. It is very easy to become swept up in very powerful emotions and myriad thoughts in times such as these, and we can sometimes make hasty and irrational decisions because of them.
For example, one critical mistake we could make is to overgeneralize and direct our fear and anger inappropriately. We must remember that the enemy is not a race or a religion, but a specific ideology known as extremism, which by the way, is currently being practiced within nearly all races and religions.
While it is true that force remains necessary to protect ourselves from the extremists, I do hope and pray for the day when we will be able to develop minds that will transcend literalism and absolutism and that these minds will go on to create a world where rational religions will co-exist harmoniously.
Unfortunately, this evolution is going to take a bit more time, so we will need to brace ourselves for additional struggles that lie ahead. This means that we are going to need to “dig deep” and draw upon our reserves of resilience to get through. The caterpillar must struggle within the cocoon in order to become a butterfly.
Let us find strength in knowing that our own personal choices can serve as examples to others, so that when we make enlightened decisions, others might follow suit. As more and more individuals embrace positive solutions, the world will experience deeper transformation.
Therefore, let our best response and highest example be as I have mentioned above. First, let us love and honor those impacted. Second, let us hold hope for the resolution of these human problems. Third, we must indeed protect ourselves against the actions of the misguided, but fourth, we must be careful to not act irrationally against an entire race or religion. Finally, let us move forward into the future challenges with a knowledge that these transitions will ultimately lead to greater transformation. On the other side of these struggles lie the solutions to a healthier and happier humanity.