Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wish list for the world

My first attempt to avoid commenting on the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech was an attempt at humor. Yesterday's entry.

And this was not because I haven't thought about it or cared, not because I don't realize or feel the immensity of it - but because the event ate hope and shat out fear, grief and anger. I didn't want to add to it and I still don't.

So this entry is not for opinions, although, like everyone else, I have them. This is a wish list...

Let us pray if that is our inclination or remember the victims and their families - including the shooter and his family, with as much understanding as we can muster. Sadly, victims or villain - it could have been any of us. I recall here the mantra of Buddhist, Bo Lozoff, author of We are all doing time, which is "Anything that can happen to a human being can happen to me."

Let's not use it as an excuse to descend to fear, hate and paranoia. Let's not look with suspicion on every loner who ever displayed signs of anger or alienation. Let's not lock our hearts and minds and see the world as ugly beyond hope. Let's not pretend that dwelling on this, talking about it and using it as a excuse to descend verbally and emotionally to the same level of vigilante "justice" as the killer used is a helpful thing in any way. If we do, then another kind of terrorism wins. Again.

Let us realize that if we want a better world, to paraphrase Gandhi, we must be a better world. If there is something concrete to be done - do it. If not, let us not pretend that letting fear and anger eat our hearts and courage away in any way contributes to a solution.

Let us understand that fear, hate and rage poison. Period. And that all hate and rage is based in fear.

Let us feel our grief and let it pass through. Let us be kinder to the next person we see, whoever they are, however small the opportunity. Let us drop our everlasting opinions for just a moment, and realize that the world without reflects everyone of us.

I have refused to discuss this issue all day - and it amazes me how people react. There is a kind of tribal pressure to take some kind of radical stand. To react - in the ways I've described above or to defend not reacting. I hope we don't fall for the pressure.

May they all rest in peace. May we all try our best to live in peace, to be decent to one another.