The tendency during events of unspeakable horror, especially when our access to it is filtered through the noise of the way in which the internet disseminates information, is to be numb and not to let these events touch our hearts. If we habitually turn away and allow a scar of apathy to constrict our most vulnerable and powerful organ we perpetuate and participate in the culture of violence which daily leaks into our lives either directly or remotely or both.
Yes absolutely as a privileged white educated woman in Vancouver the actual action I can take against gun violence in America is minimal, the safety I experience by virtue of the colour of my skin and the city I live in is apparent and obvious, but that does not mean I do not open my heart to the agony of knowing 50 of my queer brothers and sisters died, another 50 wounded, 100's of parents had their hearts ripped from their bodies, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, grandparents, friends, employers and colleagues all in agony today. This is a terrible price to pay for a culture of violence run wild and infecting people at the deepest level of their psyches.
Legitimising hate takes many forms from the so-called funny sexist bern-bro humour used again powerful political figures like Hillary Clinton to the virulent toxic hate directed toward oppressed muslims to the violence against transgendered people who can't take piss where they choose to.
Any type of hate you engage in, no matter how minor it may seem all plays into the violence and perpetuates it. The more privileged you are the greater the magnitude of the impact of your own acts of violence. Even the Nile has a drop of water where it starts. So what will you choose to be? A drop of water in a river of hate or a drop of water in a river of love and awareness?
Stopping violence begins with yourself and your life and your feelings and your patterns and your behaviours and your thoughts and your way of being. Nonviolence is not a lifestyle it is how we can save the human race and this planet - this is not an exaggeration. You must answer the call to one day at time act out of kindness and openness and acceptance and love. You must not turn away. You must face the demon of hate. We cannot hide from our darker natures because our darker natures will find us.
Today think of a person you have hurt, violated, ignored, diminished, dismissed, wounded, and change your way of relating to them. Open to them, connect with them, dialogue with them. Just one person. Today. Start now.
Be the change you want to see in the world because if you can't do it how can anyone else? Be brave.