Heal the world.
A few weeks ago I watched in horror as the events in Paris unfolded. And my heart went out to the people of Paris and the families of the people who were killed on that day. In the past when I’ve seen news about atrocities happening around the globe I feel empathy for the people involved and horror about the event and then over time it falls back into the distance, it feels like it is a world away from my life. But something is different this time. In the weeks that have passed since then the events keep coming back to my mind. Every time I hear about bombings, or air strikes in Syria I get really scared. I get really worried about where Islamic State will retaliate next. In these moments I feel helpless and hopeless. Feeling like there is nothing that can be done.
And then that kind of thinking falls away, and I start to see more clearly and things no longer seem so hopeless and I no longer feel so helpless. I don’t profess to have the answers to the world’s problems but when my thinking clears I start to see the small things that I can do to make my world a better place to live in. I realise that if I want to live in a world that is compassionate and loving, where people live together in harmony then this is how I need to be. I need to be understanding of others, particularly those people who are different to me, and compassionate and loving towards others. And perhaps if I can touch others in that way and they feel welcomed and loved then they will touch others in the same way and the ripple effect will spread that feeling around.
And I know that there will be moments when my thinking will fall back into that scared state, times when I will believe that any actions that I might take are futile, that they are just the tiniest drop in the ocean and therefore not worth even attempting, times when I will be rigidified by my thinking, but I also know those moments will pass. That at some point my thinking will clear and once again I will play my very very small part in trying to make the world a better place to live in.
First published in January 2016.