Yesterday was a very sad day for me. I was following up on a news article I read a few weeks ago about indigenous Americans purchasing sacred land in the Black Hills. I was happy that they had raised the $9 million they needed, but I was led deeper into the story and watched a TED talk and slide show that made me very emotional. Then the breaking news stories started flooding the internet. Gun violence, death, fear, suffering, blame. A hurting world in sudden outbursts of information and misinformation. Another seemingly random mass shooting.
Do no harm.
I suppose that is an impossible task. Everywhere we tread, we harm something. It’s our responsibility to be aware of that. What is the positive alternative? Make peace. What if there were mass ‘peace’-ings instead? What if the media covered screens with healing stories of kindness, of love, of compassion, of good will? What if our every breath was tuned toward acceptance and wholeness? What would that look like?
Imagine. A group of people, young and old, of all colors, surrounds a school where young minds are developing ideas of the world. The students are beginning to formulate their own opinions about the world and whether it is a place of fear or not. These opinions will shape their interactions and responses for years to come. And the students hear from their open windows a sound that begins to grow…it starts with a single voice. It is singing a clear melody in an ancient language…”Dona…nobis…pacem…”. Another voice joins in. The tune is spread, broader, higher, deeper, from voice to voice. A child inside the school picks up the cue and begins. And another…and another. The music blankets the classrooms, the cafeteria, the hallways, the offices. “Dona nobis pacem”…”Give us peace”. Peace is given, shared, lived, spread. This is how the world changes from a place of fear begetting fear to a place of safety and love.
What world do you want to live in? Click here to listen to the melody. Join in, with your voice, with your breath, with your life. Imagine that spreading like news to a hurting world.
After being on the road for 10 days, Steve & I returned to our home in Wisconsin for a period of re-assessment and research. When Steve logged onto the internet, the local news reported a shocking story. A gunman had entered the spa where we had our hair cut just days before we left on our trip, and in a violent outburst, killed 3 women who worked there and himself. I found out today that one of the three victims was the lady who cut my hair, Maelyn Lind. She took two of the pictures that are featured on my last blog post: the one of me and the “after” shot of the two of us. You can read the news report here. *an additional story from her family is here.
I have not been in any hair salon for the past 3 years. I do not intend to go to another for quite some time. I only knew Maelyn for an hour. The likelihood of our intersection was based on the slimmest percentage, and yet, we did meet. And 13 days later, she was killed. Domestic violence, gun violence, is part of our culture. We will all be effected sooner or later. This makes me incredibly sad, and it makes me wonder how our community is addressing this common and destructive issue. When we introduce guns to people, be it through the military, through the police, through recreation or any other avenue, we are introducing an instrument of devastation into situations that we can neither predict nor police. Do we really want to make it so easy for the elements of catastrophe to come together?
I respect this lady, her work, her family, her life. I am deeply disappointed that an act of supreme disrespect cut her life short. May she rest in peace; may all beings be freed from suffering. And may we all take responsibility for finding ways to avoid violence in our communities.