I wrote this the week after the November Paris bombings:
Over the past week I’ve been an observer rather than a participator in the sharing of news in the aftermath of Paris. Despite the tsunami-like support and all the wise, clever, heart wrenching and meaningful posts, I’ve not felt like sharing anything. It’s the same feeling I got after 9/11, the Bali Bombing, the Sydney Lindt cafe hold-up and any similar event.
It’s the fact that I know that even catastrophes like this become yesterday’s news, or as is often labeled, tomorrow’s fish and chip’ paper. After a few weeks or months, the Facebook photos revert back to normal or go to the next trend, the topic of conversation changes, the donations cease and essentially we all go back to our lives. Until the next crisis
For me, when something like this happens, I turn much closer to home. I turn inwards and look at myself, where I may be breeding anger, where I may be contributing to a disturbance of peace, love and freedom.
We ask in frustration what we can do to change this crazy world? We can start in our lives; in the place we go back to after all the rage and excitement has settled. This is where we can do our bit to contribute to a more peaceful place on earth. This is the place where the real change can occur.
We think we aren’t capable of mass killings, but what about the hurt and angst we contribute to in the people we love. Or the hate and contempt we breed against ourselves on a daily basis.
We may not be involved in a holy’ war, but there are wars going on in our own homes constantly. We may fight with our mirror, telling ourselves things we dislike about our appearance; we may fight with our partners, parents or kids, disagreeing with the choices they make; or we may fight with our planet, littering it and shaving it of its essence.
Although, of course, we don’t ask directly for these terrorist attacks, we could start by showing a little more respect and value towards our own lives and our own health, before we ask others to show respect to us. If we’re willing to injure ourselves through unhealthy lifestyle choices, who gives us the right to ask someone else not to hurt us?
This week I’ve shed tears for the people I may have hurt in my life and I’ve shed tears for the pain I’ve created for myself over the years.
I’ve also spent time reflecting on and reminiscing about the things I do love and are thankful for; the events that have made my life beautiful and the people who’ve made my life richer. I’ve tried prioritising things in my life and culling those that don’t add meaning or contribute to a darker side.
Hate does begin at home, as does love. We can make the choice in each moment of every day.
And just think, if we all commit to doing it in our own lives, that means politicians and other authority figures will be doing the same, and their choices ought to ultimately reflect this.
This week, I’ve made a vow to show more love towards myself and the people in my life. It’s simple, but it feels like something that will bypass the fish and chip’ paper and endure the test of time.
What are some of the other ways we can turn inwards to counter an outer attack?