Peace Where It’s Needed

I’ve been writing in sadness and frustration about kids, in particular, viewing things through their screens, and distancing themselves from the reality of what’s happening. What I’m watching now seems to be the antithesis of that: People hear about a tragedy and they say: Oh, that’s just like my… or Oh, what if that were to happen to me?… or well it’s not as bad as…

I know that the whole world isn’t thinking what’s being expressed on FB… but gee golly, too many of us are… it’s so human to want to know things and control the insane with information or distance, but the insanity of such acts as Boston… acts of war and terror, whoever the perpetrator is… can be worked against before and after, and in the moment, there is nothing to do from afar but witness, pray, and grieve.

Each individual trauma is trauma to the traumatized. It doesn’t comfort them to be told that other people are suffering. It perhaps comfort those of us making those comparisons to other things because it distances us from that person’s immediate, individual pain.

I do blame tech for this: we have difficulty telling what is possible and what is probable any more. Simply because something could happen doesn’t mean it’s likely to. I heard a cop say the other day, we have to separate the improbable possibilities from the probable. We have just this life to live. No sense wasting it on living in fear of what is unlikely to happen. Even the things that are likely to happen we can only prepare for and then go about celebrating life. And is our being afraid, I wonder, just another way to not feel? And quite frankly, most of us, not all, but most of us, have not been in those situations. We have TV to instruct us, and it’s pretty stupid. So, let’s be prepared, but relaxed…

While it’s true that what happened in Boston happens every day in war torn countries, that doesn’t mitigate the pain and shock. We’re so insulated here, it’s unimaginable to consider living with such threats on a daily basis. Too many people in the world are not insulated and live through this horror. We must hold them close to our hearts and get to work on their behalf. This is insanity. At the same time, the horror of Boston is not to be swept under the rug. Because these individuals, doing nothing more innocuous than run a race and go to cheer runners on, lived it. And we must bear witness to the horror.

It’s all very complicated and painful, isn’t it? And yet, it’s to that very pain that we’re asked to be present, and then get back to the very hard, and very necessary, work of Peace. You and I — we’re all that Peace has in her pocket. And as a journalist said yesterday, probably the most defiant thing we could do is train for a marathon. or go to a ball game. wow… I think I’ll just let that thought fester for a while. Could I do that? I don’t know.


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