To friends far and wide,
I'm writing this with a heavy heart, conflicted because I have so much to celebrate in my life, and yet I feel the pain of the world as tragedy after tragedy stream through every screen I see and every story I hear. It appears to me that each story is connected and I had a thought last night that seems worth sharing.
We've all heard the phrase "its not guns that kill people, it's people that kill people." So, I wonder, what drives people to kill people, be it with guns or bombs, and is anyone interested in talking about that?
About the hatred, anger, and fear that these killers inherit, learn, and live with. About the tortures they must have suffered in their lives (for generations) and, on a very deep level, about all the ways they must have missed out on feeling loved and that they were enough.
I agree that we need stronger gun legislation, that those who take innocent lives (be it civilians or police) should face strict sentences, and that terrorism should be defended against (be it by foreign forces or domestic); yet I cannot help but see these measures as solutions for symptoms. Symptoms of root causes that go much deeper into the lives of every living person. Root causes like all the ways that we suffer, feeling alone and afraid, holding onto our fear and anger until it bursts. How can we address these root issues in our own lives, between each other, and in our communities?
It is so easy to give into fear, but I believe that what we, and the world, need now more than ever is Love. Look to the victims of these tragedies and their families. There is not hatred in their eyes or in their words. They have connected to the fragility of life and the resilient energy of love and hope. It is there where I feel we must return. With that in mind, I humbly offer this advice: Give freely of your love, your compassion, your listening ear, and your beautiful heart to everyone you see, hear, and feel in this precious life. And, if you are one of the people who feels this suffering, anger, and fear building inside you, please know that you are enough and that there are people willing to listen and show you love. I'm one of them.