The world hasn’t suddenly changed, isn’t spinning out of control, and it isn’t ending. The kind of violence that has ignited recent fears has been around as long as we have. It’s grown to be part of our nature and entirely within our control to perpetuate it or end it. It’s so prevalent that we ignore it, forget long-term conflicts, and tend to be unaware that measures of violence around the globe show it is at some of the lowest levels in recorded history, though it feels like there is more.
We’re merely being confronted with ‘this madness’ up close and personal. By video and voices of those that we’ve been able to keep out-of-sight and out-of-mind until recently. We’re being confronted by the collective reflection of our individual ignorance and impotence; the choices we’ve made within systems that have brought us this far; to this place of grief, seeping rage and fear, confusion, conscience-bending and, if we’re fortunate, growth through consciousness & activism.
However, our intentional blindness and our unwillingness to be seen have created both visible and invisible barriers. Because we still see this as related to ‘someone else’, someone other than us or me.
Yesterday, someone mentioned ‘waiting for the Almighty to sort this out’. It’s not a God’s or the Gods’ job to sort this out. It’s our creation and our job to rectify it. And, frankly, it’s simple. Most of us have been taught the solution at some point in our lives. Love.
Just love. Why we’ve not collectively understood that concept, I’m not quite sure. There’s fear and disgust of other, certainly. But, surely, mercy and compassion and companionship and grace and communion and common threads outweigh them, right? If so, though, why has institutionalization of injustice pervaded? Why does exploitation of children flourish? Why do we still rape resources from the ground? Why are there things still not of my business? Why do sources of non-violence grow as we remain fascinated with violence? Why do we live within feet of our neighbors but not know them?
These are questions with answers related to individual choices.
We get to decide. How we judge, speak or silence ourselves, act and serve humanity. There are many, many resources to inform and assist us in making those decisions.
In and from a place of love, right where we live and stand. Or not. That’s how we perpetuate or end the violence, not any version of an Almighty.