I know I’m not alone in feeling despondent about the tragic and brutal murder of 49 innocent people on Sunday morning in Orlando.
For two days I was in denial about it. I just didn’t want to feel it, believe it was real, that someone could voluntarily harm innocent people right here in my own back yard.
And yet daily, the news is filled with stories like this - of violence in every country, and city, affecting all walks of life.
So how, as sensitive, loving people, do we face tragedy and not shy away, give up or become hostile?
Every day I pray for peace. I pray that our world will shift from a paradigm of fear and lack to one of unlimited abundance and unconditional love.
I know I’m not alone. I know that most of us want that too.
We, the silent majority, want a life of peace.
We not only accept but embrace each other for our differences. We celebrate diversity – in all its varied forms- as part of the glorious manifestation of life.
And yet when tragedy hits, it’s easy to become scared, silent, stay at home, hunker down.
But how can love win if we all hide?
Instead, each one of us has an obligation to act in love.
What can we do?
1. Stand Up
Many cities have already organized marches and other events. Check out what’s happening in your area both civically and at local places of faith. See how you can get involved.
Where I am, there is an interfaith service and candle light vigil. I currently live 90 miles from Orlando so my community has been hit hard.
2. Speak Up
We need to fight for sane, common sense gun laws. How many innocent lives must be lost before we, as a country, finally say enough?
Sign a petition, or even better, call your local representative.
Tell him or her that it’s time we end this cycle of violence, time to terminate loop holes that allow people who are mentally unstable or are known to have associated with terrorist groups to legally purchase semi-automatic weapons.
You have more power than you realize. And believe it or not, politicians actually work for you. Let them know that this needs to stop NOW.
3. Lead by Example
Many of us who are parents wonder how to explain hatred and violence. Lately it feels like life just gets more insane. But then I have to remind myself of other times, when life was filled with uncertainty and chaos.
Embody love, tolerance and acceptance.
How can you show your compassion and kindness today?
Children learn best through example. So instead of despairing or saying, "that’s the way it is and we can’t do anything," take a stand. Bring your kids to a march, a vigil or let them know that you are calling on congress to make changes.
Be empowered and your children will too. This way, love will win.
I invite you to join me to pray for peace not only in your country but across the world.
May all sentient beings be free from suffering, and have adequate food, clothing, shelter and habitat. May we shift from a paradigm of fear and lack to one of love, abundance, acceptance and sustainability.
Envision the world as whole and healed. All of life is thriving in a safe, loving and pollution free world.