It’s rare that I send out two posts in a day, but I felt an incredible urge to get this one out (which I first wrote a week ago) before the Global Gathering for Peace tomorrow. Thank you, as always, for reading.
In the wake of so many large scale atrocities occurring on the planet, including but not limited to the Malaysian Airlines disaster, the conflict between Israel and Palestine, the war in Syria and the mistreatment of asylum seekers in Australia, it is easy to become disheartened, disconnected and afraid.
While I have witnessed a large outpouring of compassion and an increased surge in gratitude by those of us who are lucky enough to be living in countries free from large scale violence, there seems to be a wave of resignation and fear-mongering sweeping the planet too.
There are always certain media outlets or individuals who seem to rise to any newsworthy occasion to proclaim us all doomed so they can profit from inciting terror. Then there are the people who gobble it up like bitter candy for reasons I am not sure I will ever understand.
It worries me how little responsibility people are willing to take for the acts of atrocity which occur on this planet while being more than happy to dole out a dismal diagnosis for the rest of us.
More than anything, though, I have compassion for those who hold a world view so dependent on the latest new story (for that is all it ever is for many of us) because it is a sad way to be indeed. I cannot blame them for the recklessness of the media and its absolute ferociousness when it comes to peddling its terror.
We are all victims of it, with some countries such as the UK, Australia and the US being hit worse than others (in my opinion).
But my point is, we are in this together. You may not believe this, but there are some things I know to be true and am willing to stand my ground on and this is one. I may struggle to know it my head at times, particularly during times of terror and violence, but I do know in my heart that We Are One.
There is no ‘us ‘ and ‘them’. The very idea of ‘us’ and ‘them’ is an illusion. What is happening ‘over there’ is also happening ‘here’ because we are inexplicably, unequivocally connected by the very virtue of being alive on this planet.
And what one of us do, we all do. I am not saying we are all running around with land to air missiles blasting aircraft out of the sky, but what other types of missiles do we carry around on a daily basis, ready to blast our latest victim with? Even if it’s only a hurtful, hateful thought or an unfair judgement of someone.
I’ll tell you, I carry a lot. And quite frankly its not bloody good enough. It’s not good enough because I have a responsibility to be the best person am capable of being. I don’t mean the sort of person you think I should be, but the kind which my heart longs to embody. My loving, kind, giving heart which I believe to be the very same heart that beats inside the chest of every single human on this planet.
Every single one, even terrorists.
Acts of violence do not come from ‘animals’ but from human beings just like us. Just like you and me in every single way except for their circumstances in this specific point in our human history. Acts of war, violence and genocide occur when the very characteristics we all maintain on some level – but mainly fear – boil over into uncontrollable delusion in enough people to cause widespread damage.
Taking responsibility for ourselves means we are not helpless. It means we are not unwitting victims of some poisoned arm of humanity, but rather responsible for weeding out fear in ourselves. Because anything we do here, happens there. Any time we overcome a fear based judgement in ourselves, we help to elevate humanity to a higher level of consciousness. By taking responsibility for ourselves rather than sitting back and pointing the finger or throwing our hands up in apathy we surely develop a more productive approach to life.
It may be easier to take on the role of victim and separate ourselves from the atrocities which occur in other countries, adding it to our ever growing list of reasons why life on earth is doomed and humanity is an evil stain on the planet, but what good does that do?
And what good can we actually do? What is in our power to change?
I can only speak for myself, but I could do with – among may things – fostering a greater awareness in my daily life. I could be less quick to think about what’s in it for me and consider others more. I could be more grateful for every moment I get to walk upon this glorious earth and be more vigilant with thoughts of negativity, fear and resentment.
And that’s just the beginning. I have a long way to go to become that person my heart longs to embody. If embarking on that journey is not my sole purpose for being alive on this planet, then I don’t know what is.
If anything, I have a GREATER responsibility to humanity because I am blessed to live in a country which is free from war.
It doesn’t mean I need to go out and join the peace corps if that’s not the direction my life is heading, but it does mean I need to open my eyes and my ears and my heart to ways in which I can serve, today. Ways in which I can rise above my own destructive thinking and behaviours in order to elevate us all as a whole.
Obviously, there are many ways to do this. But tomorrow, there is an opportunity to participate in one of the world’s greatest global gatherings for peace without leaving your own home.
Tomorrow morning I’ll be participating in the Global Meditation for Peace because I think intention matters and I believe with all my heart that I can make a difference by showing up as I am with what I have, including my confusion, my fledgling faith and my faults.
In fact, showing up as we are for a cause as worthy as Peace on Earth, is probably the most courageous act we can ever take.
We can make a difference. You can join me here.
Follow the link to register for the event and follow the #IAMPEACE hashtag on social media.
Image by fast company.