Following two more mass shootings, I am determined not to respond with fear or anger because I know that love is the only action that can reunite this country. It would be wonderful if swift action, like a new law or new leadership, could quickly resolve these problems, but our struggles run deeper than that. Anger, fear, greed, apathy, loneliness, hatred, and selfishness can be found in diverse people throughout our country, and they need help, but we need to help ourselves first. If these events trigger destructive emotions inside of us, we are only adding to the collective struggles. We must connect to a higher purpose that’s more important than our personal needs to bring stability to our communities.
In a country that discarded God decades ago, has started to discard science, and is constantly witnessing tragedy and sensationalized news, how can people find grounding and stability? I think it’s driving us all a little crazy. Love is the one tool strong enough to draw people out of the darkness and into a healthy and stable place. Love is peaceful, eternal, and beyond life and death. Love can guide us out of this misery.
People connect with love in different ways: religion, family, and community service to name a few. The challenge is to expand these pockets of love towards continuous unconditional love for all. We can’t be loving if we’re feeling anger, fear, or greed, so we need to learn how to manage these feelings. I believe there are many successful strategies that can help people grow in love, but the one that is most helpful to me is meditation.
Meditation gives me a tool to observe and weaken harmful emotions within myself without burying them or dumping them on someone else. Meditating with a group provides the same individual benefits, but also unites the group in the mission of peace, unity, and love. Since meditation is simply a technique to discover the truth within, we can bypass the complicated and divisive arguments between various philosophical and religious beliefs and join together with the simple purpose of connecting to love. The spread of meditation through different compartments of society gives me hope.
Unfortunately, many more people will die from gun violence in the coming years. If we can respond to these tragedies with love, compassion, and peace, we will be building the foundation for a future full of love, compassion, and peace. If we respond with hatred, fear, and blame, our future will carry these same qualities forward. Let’s be diligent in discovering how to bring love into this world together.