I learned the news about the Louisiana cops shooting while shopping at Michael’s. A customer told his wife that three officers were shot and then added, “I bet it was another black man.” A brick wall of information and racism fell in front of me and I just halted. There was NO good in that moment.
My first thought was, “Did I actually just hear those words?” Then, all at once, my heart fell into the pit of my stomach and I felt like running. But I didn’t. After a moment, I gathered myself and kept on walking. When something horrible happens, it can either be for the sake of evil or it can be flipped on its head into something positive and life-changing. I’m choosing to take that appalling response and use it to produce–not just influence–change in my own ways and words for the better of our society.
As fate would have it, I heard a radio interview with Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hahn right after this encounter at the store. Master Hahn said, “Violence in our family and our nation stops with us.” This line was the ray of hope for which my helpless heart longed. So much can change if we accept the responsibility.
There is still so much good right in front of us, starting with our beautiful, innocent children.
If we look at our domestic lives, we can see how much potential there is for chaos. Toddlers can be terrifying in their own way with their constant demands, hurtful comments, angry bites, and screams. World War III could start in your home if your spouse asks you one more question about where a household item is. Anger accumulates and ultimately explodes.
Whatever atmosphere in your home breeds anger, recognize it and reconcile it.
Replace the bombs you could hurl out of your mouth with gentle, loving words. Don’t let the toddlers bring you to your knees in defeat; let it be for hugs and kisses. Show compassion to the unsuspecting. When that person encounters their own terrorists, they will respond with love. It’s not what we want to do in that moment, but if we take a lesson from recent events, we cannot kill the killers. It only makes us killers and the death cycle continues.
In these small ways, love explodes.
These horrible events are not isolated in Louisiana, Dallas, or Turkey. It affects our Seacoast communities and we can absolutely stop it if we tell the hatred of this world that we are breaking the cycle now and here. BE love in your home, office, community, and to each and every human being you encounter to start the cycle of hope.