Courage is when you are afraid, but persevere. Courage is, in a way, life. To get up each morning, to be alive every day, every moment. Some of the people I admire are Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King Jr. It took courage for Nelson Mandela to leave the anger, hate, and pain he had behind him when he was finally freed and become the leader he already was. It took courage for MLK Jr. to lead people in peaceful protests, it still takes courage for us who now live to preserve and maybe to solve problems for ourselves.
So much news is bad news, all the negative aspects of life, all the violence, and spectacle. But there is so much more. See the birds how they are preparing now for spring. Hear them singing. See the families out for a walk, or dinner together even with phones and tablets in hand. See what really is in your own community. React when you need to.
I wonder of those who take guns into public places, concerts, movies, schools, etc, I wonder if they had a safe place to be themselves, if they had people to talk to, if they had interaction, or should I say more than they do. Or maybe they did have all that and still came to carry out mass violence against no enemy but themselves. Are we our own enemy?? There is a cartoon that says that, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”
Sages have said repeatedly that what we do to others we do to ourselves. Jesus put it another way, or should I say those who wrote of Jesus: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” So, should we shoot up the shooter? I don’t think so. I think Love is needed.
And what of those 17 families who no longer have their family member? What can we do for them even though we are so far away, or should I say I am far away. What can I learn from all this gun violence, what can I do?? The only thing that comes to mind is to be more present in my community, and to listen more, to understand as best I can more, those around me, love people.
But what is Love? The word is overused and misused I think. In other languages there are different words for the love of food, or of sex, or of humanity. Here is an interesting talk from J. Krishnamurti. It’s a bit long winded, but worth the time to follow where is takes us, and to explore as he asks us, what is inside us, and what out daily lives in relation to love are.
and then there is Rabbi Twerski who is quicker that Krishnamurti, but says almost the same thing.
I think if we discover what true love of people (Phillia or Storge as well as platonic – all greek words for various aspects of love of mankind), not of the self is, we might be able to lessen the violence in the world, maybe. How can I love my community better, more fully. How can I help, what can I really do. This is what I want people to think about instead of trying to get congress to act. WE need to have the courage to address this problem as well as congress, and I personally believe caring for people, animals and our environment is what is needed more than gun control.
Moira Levant / COCOA2.com © Feb. 17 2018