This all comes less than two months after the unfathomable horror of white supremacist neo-Nazi rallies spewing hate and vitriol in otherwise peaceful towns and streets in the United States of America in 2017. Four months after a suicide bombing at a concert (whose attendees were largely children) in Manchester, UK. And the recent bomb scares across the country. So many of us are still dealing with the tragedies of the Aurora movie theater shooting, the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, the Columbine school massacre and the many other senseless and heinous acts of terror that have plagued our nation in recent years.
It's so sad to think that we are becoming inured to these atrocities. It seems like since 9/11 we all say things like, "Here's another one," or "Pray for the victims of ______" as we go along our day like nothing happened. It can be very defeating and depressing to think that human beings are getting used to the idea of mass executions and the random slaughter of our fellow men and women.
I guess what we have to remember is, evil is not new. Evil has been a part of modern society, and I'm assuming primitive society as well. How many millions of innocent lives were targeted and lost over the 10,000 years or so that we know of human existence? Millions upon millions of non-military people - men, women and children have perished by command of tyrannical dictators like Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, the list goes on. We know that evil exists and but it certainly hits home when the deliberate annihilation of fellow Americans who were just out to have a good time at a concert, or spend a morning at school, or go to a movie is the top news story of the day.
So what do we do with our heavy thoughts and burdened thoughts? Well, first we should allow ourselves to have them. Resist the cynicism that so many people adopt in these times. It's hard not to just believe that the world is going to hell in a hand basket, I know. But we need to keep our hearts open and malleable and believing that good will ultimately win out in the end somehow.
Secondly, I think we need to focus on the good. Count our blessings. Hug our loved ones. Acknowledge the things we have to be grateful for and resolve to fill our thoughts with gratitude more and more each day.
Then, we need to make the choice to spread light into the darkness. So many people are pointing fingers, calling out blame, filling social media feeds with acidic words and blatant hatred. Don't be one of those people! People who do their best to keep the world divided into "us" and "them." People who relish cutting others down in order to build themselves up. People who criticize and belittle and judge and discriminate against others because that's how they try to make their own miserable lives bearable. Make the choice to speak kindly, act courteously, show compassion and tolerance toward other human beings regardless of the color of their skin, the religion they practice, their customs, core beliefs, hairstyles and wardrobes. Make the choice every day to find the good in others, to seekthe similarities between us, and to remember the fact that that not one of us will make it out of this world alive.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King Jr.
What to do when the world is falling apart? Love one another. To the best of your ability, in as many ways that you can. Love is the answer, and it does indeed conquer all.