As headlines over the last 24 hours have filled with more terrorist attacks on two continents at least that I know of, I thought to myself, what can we do in times like this? What can one ordinary person do? Anything? Everything? Nothing? Actually, I dare say a lot.
I spent years studying and working on issues of terrorism and radicalization. Academically and professionally. I've looked at the psychology and sociology behind it. I've spent hours looking at individuals, groups, cases, countries, historical and modern. And I'm convinced there are several brave, dare I say courageous, things you can do RIGHT NOW in dark times:
BE MORE KIND.
To everyone and anyone. I absolutely believe that kindness is worth it's weight in gold. You have no idea what suffering, what anxiety, what troubles someone is carrying, what lightness you might bring into someone's darkness.
Your neighbors. Your family. Your friends. Strangers at the coffee bar you frequent. I believe the fabric of our society has been breaking down and when that breaks down, support systems fall apart, people feel lonely, isolated, and checks and balances that can otherwise catch things are gone.
Forgive yourself. Forgive other people. I dare say forgive the unforgiveable. Not because you are brushing it aside, but because you are stronger. Because you choose not to become a victim. Because when we forgive, we see more clearly.
Whether you believe in a Higher Being or not, I believe words have power. And so we think, so we become. What we say, becomes our reality. And saying prayers, saying intentions out loud, sending well wishes, sends some positive vibrations out in a time when it's easy to fall into a survival mode of fear, anger, hate is choosing something different. Exercise that muscle of your tongue in a positive way.
ABOVE ALL LOVE.
Love everyone and everything. I know...this is hard. But because I believe we are absolutely all connected if we stretch our minds in the darkest of times to find the light, we have an impact. We show up differently in our way of being. And when we show up differently, we absolutely impact others around us.
Much love and light in this dark time,