I was supposed to run a session on moving towards acceptance and tolerance a few weeks back. It was put on hold due to a more than typical lupus flare. I was just getting back to the point of being able to run the session when Paris suffered the horrible terrorist attacks of November.
My first thought was about Beloved as he has been in France and was slated to be spending time in Paris. If something had happened to him, if he was no longer a part of my life I had no clue what I would do. How would I respond? Would I be able to find forgiveness or would hate consume me? How do you move forward when there is no logical answer and the question why is left blowing in the wind?
Any time tragedies happen, whether on a large-scale or small, there are people who will be hurt. There will be a sense of injustice and hate is an easy place to get to. It’s a natural place to get to when someone takes the life of one of your loved ones and there is no logic to it other than that you loved one was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Paris, as so many other major tragedies has the ability to renew hatred, dig in and refuse to see beyond stereotypes ascribed to certain groups of people. We seek revenge, demand that lives not be lost without punishment, retribution that will be far worse than the horror laid upon our feet.
Finding peace, finding a sense of tolerance during these times can be hard. It may seem as though we do not value the lives of those who were killed or hurt by the senseless actions of others. It may seem to be a sign of weakness, a gesture of hopelessness or giving up.
Cruelty, violence, and terror all make finding tolerance or acceptance harder to consider. When people are hurting and others are blaming the flames of intolerance are fanned again to new strengths and we slip further away from finding a means of living together, peacefully. And yet it is because of tragedies such as this, in an incredibly small world, that moving towards finding a way to live together, to move towards tolerance, acceptance and peace is more important.
But how? How do we reach that place with so much blood spilled? So many lives shattered and he threat of more to come on the horizon? I don’t have the answers, I just wonder if we aren’t now just about at the point of no return. If we slide a bit further along do we reach the place where tolerance, acceptance and peace are just smoke rings in the dark and hate, horror and suffering are the norm? Can we live in a world like this? I don’t think my broken heart can continue to be stomped on and shattered by these senseless acts.