Fear. Anger. Sadness. Horror. They are all natural reactions to the wave of terror in Paris, City of Light. But there is one other reaction that--difficult though it may be to acknowledge, let alone embody, in times like this—is required of us if we are ever to emerge out of the endless violence and division consuming our planet.
Somehow, we must find the strength to pause for a moment, and instead of merely feeling outrage and fear and calling for vengeance on the perpetrators and all those who agree with them and are their accomplices, go deep into our own heart and consider an ancient truth.
“We are one.”
I have no idea when this truth was first planted in the divine soil of our own consciousness.
But I do know this: If we are to survive these times in which we live and see unfold in our lives the joy and peace that is our birthright, we must honor this ancient truth. Putting it another way, we must honor the love that is at the core of our being.
Love, it has been said, is comprised of wisdom and compassion. These are the wings upon which love soars.
Impossible, implausible, and counter-intuitive though it may seem, if we are to be true to the true nature of love, that is to say, true to ourselves, we must acknowledge that it is not only the victims of the Paris attacks and their loved ones who deserve our compassion.
The young men who carried out the vicious attacks on innocent people in Paris--and all those who inspired them to do their terrible deeds—also deserve our compassion. They thought they were doing the right thing. I doubt very much they thought of themselves as “evil.”
What was it Jesus said? “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
This is obviously a very difficult, and very tender subject to write about. I would greatly appreciate any thoughts you may like to share on the above. I send love and blessings to you.