“The most divisive belief is ‘us versus them’. The most uniting belief is that humanity is one family.” Deepk Chopra
I do not have the words. I put my fingers to keyboard searching for understanding and the words evaporate. I sit in meditation and my mind will not rest. It leaps from thought to thought scurrying about in search of answers it cannot find in my restless, agitated state of being. I want to write about the sadness I feel. I want to write about my sorrow that yet again, violence is the path we humans take to destroy our humanity.
And I am at a loss.
I read the news reports. I read the comments. I read the words we use to describe those who committed these acts and I fear once again we will never find the path to unity, to being a planet existing in harmony and peace.
We look across the ocean and see the turmoil and grieve the losses and state we must unite and fight the terror, we must kill the terrorists and my heart grows heavy.
We are one humanity. One planet. One humankind.
It is not them who have perpetrated these acts. It is all of us.
It is not them we are vowing to kill. It is all of us.
According to Mass Shooting Tracker, in the US there have been 325 mass shootings in 2015 resulting in 304 deaths. In 2014, 337 mass shootings killing 383 people.
What is happening is wrong. What is happening is terrifying. What is happening is deadly.
The perpetrators are still human. They are still us. They are not subhumans. Animals. Cretins. Or whatever words we spew out to quell the anger burning from within. They are us and in our refusal to see that we are them, that we share this human condition, no matter how massively distorted we see it to be, we are contributing to the divisiveness that is killing our humanity.
We have been contributing to this divisiveness for centuries.
In one article, a man from the Southern US talked about the Klu Klux Klan and the terror they invoked throughout the South. Where was the outrage of the country then, asked the person being interviewed.
When I was in my early teens and we lived in France, ‘the Algerian crisis’ was in full swing. In the woods, behind the apartment building we lived in, there were ruins of Roman aquaducts. ‘The Algerians’ lived in the ruins. We were cautioned not to go there alone. They might rise up out of the ruins and harm us. In a section of the city there were tenements that housed, ‘the Algerians’. They were French citizens but they were considered second class, ‘the other’, undeserving of common decencies extended to the rest of society.
Where was the outrage then?
There is no us and them in humanity. There is only us. All of us. One planet. One humankind. One human family. What we do to one, we do to all.
I cannot stop the flow of hatred. I cannot stop the boiling over of anger.
I can stop them coming from me. I can stop them being my contribution.
And so this becomes my prayer today.
Let me not contribute anger to what has happened. Let me not contribute hatred.
Let me only contribute my humanity for it is in our humanity that we are most similar. It is in our blood that we flow the same.