“It snowed and snowed, the whole world over, Snow swept the world from end to end. A candle burned on the table; A candle burned.” Boris Pasternak.
The ISIS attack in France took me back to the 9/11 attack. Not snow, but smoke, ash, bodies, buildings falling, lives suddenly taken. To fight the horror, candles were lit; hands reached out. Humankind’s better side worked to master the horror produced by what hatred of the other created.
So seems to response to the newest terror. However, some have complained and with justification that too many other acts of terrorism have not been met with an equal outpouring of outrage, sympathy, or help.
Let me list the other acts that have killed scores of people during 2015 and have been met with less horror:
- Nigeria January 8, 2015 – 2015 Baga massacre. Boko Haram attacks town of Baga in northern Nigeria killing at least 200 people. Another 2000 are unaccounted for.
- Nigeria March 7, 2015 – Five suicide bomb blasts leave 58 dead and 143 wounded in Maiduguri suicide bombing.
- Yemen March 20, 2015 Sana’a mosque bombings. 135 killed in bombings on several mosques by ISIL.
- Kenya April 2, 2015 – 148 killed in Al-Shabaab’s Garissa University College attack.
- Turkey October 10, 2015 – Ankara bombings kill at least 95 people injured 245. According to two high ranked sources in the Turkish security forces ISIL is most likely responsible.
- EgyptRussia October 31, 2015 – Bomb on board a Russian jet brings it down in Sinai, bound for St Petersburg, killing 224 people
- Lebanon November 12, 2015 – Twin suicide bombings kill 42 people in the capital city of Beirut.
I have not included the attacks on individuals or small groups of people. Nor have I included the ongoing terrorism currently occurring in Israel and now seeping out to the rest of the world.
A sad fact of our innate humanity is that we identify most emphatically with those we see as part of our tribe, like ourselves. The “Others,” the “Outsiders,” the “Different” at worse are suspect or blamed for the evil that comes their way; or at best ignored.
Even animals have an inborn distrust of outsiders. When raised together, dogs, cats, birds and other creatures get along remarkably well. Moreover, newborns can be introduced into the tribe with ease. Our boxer Brutus would let puppies and kittens suckle on his nipples.
Why this distrust of those that are different? The most likely explanation seems to revolve around safety needs. These needs are a throw back to when we lived in small tribes and strangers were either rare, or visited with hostile intent.
As the world grows smaller and we get to know each other better, the hope is we will see our common humanity and war will end. A hope, but one that seems feeble given the determination of some to wipe out the different.
I know the urge to keep my eyes on what lifts my heart in the moment and to ignore all that is tragic around me. Laugh and play is an important way to keep moving forward for. I indulge in all I can that makes me feel good and does no harm to others.
Moreover, a certain amount of denial helps all survive. No one can stay emotionally strong on a constant diet of despair.
However, we must also remember what matters and work constantly to create peace in our homes and on our planet.
Much is made of the fact that suffering can lead to transformation and to a new manner of thought. Transformation, however, is not always toward the light. For far too many, the fruits of their lives are full of bitterness and in time leads them to evil acts. Their free will is limited, but they are few compared to many who have been given much.
If you are reading this, your are more fortunate than most. I know I have been given more than most. Knowing that, I work to send light to those I meet. And while, I cannot do as much as others, but I can do something. I can light candles. So can you.
Perhaps if a enough candles burn we will better see and be more willing to follow the path that leads to peace.
As always thank you for all you do and continue to care and share.
Kindness improves emotional fitness and your odds of staying healthy. You can practice kindness right now by liking, commenting, or sharing this post.
Thank you and work at staying strong until next time. I work on doing that all the time. As always pass this on, if you think it will aid another. Liking or commenting helps me.
LINKS OF INTEREST
These links are mainly for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness. However at least one relates to the topic of this post.
Be With Beauty (Pinterest.com)
Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
The five components of Emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)
Emotional Fitness Tips for Parents (parentsarepeopletoo.com)