later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
where does it hurt?
- Warsan Shire
No one is immune to the far reaching implications and affects of the acts of violence committed across our world...whether it be in Paris, Mumbai, Madrid, London, Beirut, Nairobi, New York, Baghdad, Sandy Hook, Damascus or any other number of cities, towns and villages.
We can fool ourselves into thinking it won't affect us; it's not our problem; it's beyond our control; we're pawns in a game with no rules; there is nothing to be done.
Affect us, however, it does.
Our world is so much smaller.
We are more connected...
What happens to one is felt by many.
Some of our most painful lessons challenge our capacity and willingness to choose love in the face of hate.
When something is suddenly taken away from us...be it a loved one or...
our sense of freedom...
our guttural response may be one of hatred and vengeance.
We want to lash out.
The events of the world right now appear to be a never-ending crescendo of violence heightened by fear, anger and the desire to retaliate.
Much like an orchestral piece of music, the crescendo demands the louder instruments come alive with their boldness and frenzy and immediacy. They overwhelm our senses as we feel the visceral excitement and energy of the moment.
And once the crescendo passes...as it always does...we again notice the steady gentle melody of the quieterinstruments; the ones that bring a calm flowing grace and heart to the musical piece and a healing balm to the listener.
Within us all resides the loud and quiet instrument; each playing their part in our lives.
The loud ones command attention and encourage a call to action.
The quiet ones remain a steady presence that create a calm cohesiveness and harmony.
It would be a mistake to underestimate the power of the quiet ones within, however.
For they are the ones that call for...
even in the face of chaos.
The Great Ones before us spoke of this often.
They too faced a world of hatred and violence and anger and yet demonstrated the power of love and compassion using their own quiet instruments to direct their message and their lives.
It is hard.
It requires a lot from us and perhaps may seem trite and naive and ridiculous to consider in the face of such overwhelming fear for a world seemingly full of violence and injustice and hatred and politics and greed and hopelessness.
For many of us, it is too difficult to fathom.
So, we start smaller.
We start with what we can do...
within our own communities...
within our own families...
within our ownhearts.
For if we look there, we will find a version of
hatred and violence and anger that needs tending to.
Healing and harmony begin when we call upon those quiet instruments within to demonstrate kindness and compassion and love for those around us...
for our own selves.
Perhapsthis is how we begin to change and heal our world.
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