Monday, July 23, 2012

Actions to Promote a More Peaceful and Loving World

What happened in Aurora, Colorado last week was senseless; but it’s exactly at these times that we need to recall our interconnectedness. While it would be absurd to say that anyone other than the shooter was directly responsible for what happened in Colorado, I would say we are responsible for how we hold it and how we respond to it.

It’s tempting to get caught up in the media spin and the hype, especially since that’s exactly what the ego uses to keep us a sleep – we create an emotional bypass where we allow the media to spoon feed us the public opinion rather than feel our own feelings and form our own opinions. But if we want to be conscious we need to pay attention to what’s going on inside our hearts. Listen to our feelings and see what’s there for us to learn or just release.

I read a compelling statement by Arun Gandhi yesterday where he challenges us to consider our love affair with violence in our culture.  I do not consider myself a violent person but I had to look at my acquiescence and eventual acceptance of violence in my world.  Here's what I know to be true for me...  if I see discord in the world it's because somewhere within me I believe it's ok.

Consciousness is a powerful thing.  If none of us believed it was acceptable to cause harm to others, violence would cease to be a problem in our world.  The incident in Aurora begs for me to consider where in my own consciousness I still find violence acceptable.  I can't do anything that will directly alieviate the pain of the effected families in Aurora but I can choose how I think and what I believe and I can be vigilant with my thoughts and actions to promote a more peaceful and loving world in my own mind and in my own community.

I am reminded of the Amish school shooting about 6 years ago in Pennsylvania. Remember how the community responded? With compassion and forgiveness, compassion for their own families and compassion for family of the man who shot their children. That was an amazing act of love and forgiveness in the midst of great personal tragedy. 

So today I choose to stand the high watch in my own life and make conscious choices about what I read, watch and tolerate in my own backyard. While I've never even held a firearm, I accept my responsibility in last week's violent action in Colorado and I now choose peace.  If each of us did this we could change the world.