Yesterday a Canadian soldier was killed at point blank at an Ottawa war memorial and the gunman was shot dead in the Parliament Buildings. Our leaders are calling it an act of terrorism, and there is talk of another world war starting. Of course this is being covered all over the media, and some people are working themselves into a frenzy, worrying about what's going to happen on a global scale. Yes, this is serious. It is tragic. But this is nothing new. It's not the first time an innocent person has been killed, and it won't be the last. Humans have been at war with each other pretty much since the beginning of time. It happens between countries, races, religions, and within our own personal lives. Conflict is a part of life, but when tragic events like the one yesterday occur, it magnifies the hatred and fear we feel collectively. Every time we have those "us vs. them" conversations around the water cooler, when we think about getting revenge, or when we focus on the threat of war, we are pouring more anger, fear, and hatred into the Universe. We don't need more of this. There is enough hate swirling around the ether to last for a long time.
What we need more of is kindness, love, and appreciation for the peace we do have. This is never more true than during times of unrest. It's easy to have warm fuzzy feelings when things are going well. It's a little tough when you're constantly bombarded with news feeds, Facebook posts, and conversations about how scary the world has become. I'm not saying that we should play ostrich and stick our heads in the sand, pretending that the world is different than it is. What I am suggesting is to shift our focus and do a complete 180 from fear. In times like this we need to focus more than ever on love and peace. If you feel you're called to be a light in this world, to show others that there is a better way, now is the time to crank up the wattage and shine.
One way we can do this is to love our enemies. Yep, just like Jesus said. It's not a problem to love your friends and family. Loving your enemies….easier said than done. Try loving the man who shot that soldier. Or the guy who stole your car. The drunk driver who killed your child. You get the idea. This in no way excuses the horrible things that have been done in the world. But it is when the greatest healing can occur. When we have feelings of love in general, we are chipping away at the darkness that's part of this world and bringing more light into it. When we love those who have hurt us the most, those who we find impossible to love, it's like taking a sledge hammer to the darkness and beating the fuck out of it. How is it possible to feel anything but contempt for people who commit horrific acts? Love the innocent child they once were. Each of us were born completely innocent and pure. People are taught how to hate, how to be racist, how to be misogynistic through their environment and experiences. When we arrived on this planet at birth, we were all the same. Different cultures and skin colours, but still pure little human beings. This is who we can love and pray for.
We can also go the extra mile and dish out more love to those we come into contact with every day. If someone cuts you off in traffic, let it go for once and just assume it was an accident. Have a bit more patience with the customer who always has something to complain about. Spend more time laughing and having a good time with your friends. Love the shit out of each other.