When I heard about Newtown tragedy, the first thought that popped into my head was, "People who love themselves and feel loved don't do this sort of thing." My reaction to the Boston Marathon explosion echos this sentiment. We don't yet know who or why someone would make the conscious choice to kill innocent people but I'll bet ya we find out "they don't love themselves or feel loved".
If you watched the 60 minutes a few weeks back with the parents/partners of some of those killed at Sandy Hook you heard the plea of David Wheeler, dad of 6-year-old victim Ben, to look in the mirror and ask yourself if this could happen in your town. . . if there is any shadow of doubt do something about it he implores us.
I believe in gun control and background checks but I also believe that we can make as many rules as we can think of but until we get to the root of the problem the threat will always be there.
The more I think about this topic, the more convinced I am in the need for love to prevail here. Anger and revenge, although gratifying at times, actually plant the seeds of violence. I can't get the words to stop repeating in my head. . .
PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEMSELVES AND FEEL LOVED DON'T: _______________________.
Fill in the blank. Shoot innocent children. Kill others. Exploit. Abuse children. Rape. Manipulate. Dominate. Violate. Knowingly pollute the planet. Steal. Lie. Bully. How would you finish the sentence?
So, Mr. Wheeler, I want you to know I for one am looking in the mirror. I am making a much more serious effort to express LOVE to myself and others around me, especially to people who seem to need it the most. I am looking friends, neighbors and even strangers in the eye more. I am listening to them when they speak. I am silently saying to myself with each interaction -- I receive your love (thank you Holly for turning me on to this greeting) and you are loved.
I know the issues are more complex than this blog post makes them. However, in the face of terror and tragedy, I choose love. It feels like the most powerful and meaningful thing I can do and it certainly can't hurt. Sometimes I try to imagine what the world would look like everyone "loved themselves and felt loved". . . . .