It’s tempting to get angry, to throw our arms up to show our blanket disgust with people who make choices out of their fear which lead to hurting and killing others. Many lives are destroyed by terror, racism, hate and bigotry and, yeah, it’s hard to imagine rising above the news thrown at us every day confirming more terror, racism, hate and bigotry.
Mainstream media focuses on these stories of fear and hate. We are inundated with the negative because that’s how mainstream media is set up--and it obviously works for the industry--if they weren’t financially successful with this model, believe me, they’d change it. However, there is more to the picture than what is right in front of us. The internet offers something that we don’t regularly see on mainstream media and television: small stories of hope and love. Stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. This is why I like Facebook and Google, this is why I love Ted talks www.ted.com/talks and the Moth radio hour www.themoth.org. There’s a whole world out there of people who do incredible, inspiring and unbelievable things. There are a slew of people who use their intellect, wisdom and creativity to fulfill their life’s purpose of offering themselves up to the greater good. There are also spiritual leaders and celebrities that I believe are creating an underground spiritual revolution that is slowly breaking through to the mainstream. This movement is led by the Pope, Dalai Lama, Oprah Winfrey, Brene Brown, Deepok Chopra, Elizabeth Gilbert, Malala Yousafzai, and the list goes on. Increasingly, people are coming out on the side of love and offering their invaluable insights. Seek their wisdom, listen to their words. Your own view of the world may start to shift.
So, if someone were to ask me, what is the answer to all this craziness? How do we justify our blessed lives while there is so much suffering? I would say, “In order to change the world, peace begins with the seed inside yourself.” Compare this idea to how we grow things. First we plant a seed, and, the next thing you know, we have a garden and then a farm and then rows of trees and then a forest. Start with the seed. Picture it nestled in your gut. Water it, give it light, tons and tons of light and let it grow. The seed of peace. Then it will spread. It will spread to others in your family and then it will seep out your door down the street to the neighbors, it will fill up the block, the corner store and beyond.
The question remains, what do we do when we get hit again with another horrific news story, another act of fear and terror? Keep nurturing your seed. Pull yourself up and do it again. Even when the hate keeps coming, again and again, just keep nurturing your seed. You are a part of the solution. There will be days where you want to give in to the hate and feel the complete and utter rage. There will be days when you think your own seed is gone. It’s not, it’s impossible to destroy, it just needs to be unearthed. Pull yourself up again. And again. And again. Nurture the seed, build your garden. You will heal yourself and the world.
Shana Colbin Dunn