What to do about Paris? About Beirut? About all the violence we see in the world? Can we do anything about it?
I was reminded today that yes, there is something we can all do. We can start with ourselves. We can end the violence we express in our lives. Do you think you're not violent? Take a moment to pay attention to your inner dialogue. Do you see judgement there? Anger? Negativity? This may not rank as high as picking up a gun and shooting someone, but the difference is in degree, not in kind.
So we start with ourselves. And for those of you who are parents, we teach peace to our children. We cannot create peace with hatred in our hearts. We can act to stop people who intend to hurt us, but that doesn't mean that we have to hate them. We can understand that happy, successful people don't generally commit random acts of violence while at the same time taking action to protect ourselves.
I was moved by this poem I saw on Facebook, written by a Somali-British poet by the name of Warsan Shire:
later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
where does it hurt?