pAris speaks

The aftermath of the Paris bombings has left me feeling a little shaken. My daughter lives in the centre of Paris (read about her thoughts the following day here)

A friend of hers was in the theatre where over 120 people were apparently rounded up and gunned down - mostly one by one.

I can not begin to understand what it was like for the people inside that building. I also can not begin to think what is going on in the minds of the people that are part of the organisation who chose to wreak such havoc on a otherwise peaceful city.

How can we as humans get things so wrong?

And how can we begin to get it right?

Another war is not the answer - we do not need more lives lost. But what do we do now with the total disharmony of the people who somehow believe that what they are doing is right? I have no answer - I fear that we are closing the gate after the horse has bolted. Although these acts of violence / terror are often said to be done in the name of religion - no God, no true religion would ever promote such acts of violence. This is not a representation of any God. What is the root of all this? Are these people terrorists? Are they a misguided brainwashed bunch of lost individuals looking for redemption? Please do not call them Muslims, religious or in any way related to any God.

I know that there are people who will demand 'something be done'. Who will demand a war, retribution, further carnage. This is not the solution.

For me, who feels totally powerless, both in understanding and in knowing what the solution is, I can only suggest this:

We must start at home. We must start with the way we treat our fellow man - our thoughts, our actions, our speech, our deeds. We must, we must, continue on our paths of creating a life that is worthy of living, one which is filled with care, kindness and love. We must continue to lead by example. We must not give into to the temptation to fight evil with more evil. Somehow we need to protect everyone from harm. Including the people that perpetrated these acts of violence. They too - are dead. Who knows who they are, how their families may grieve, what losses people who loved them will suffer.

My heart bleeds for the world at these times. And I know that the events in Paris are only a tiny fraction of the chaos and carnage around the world. I will say that I usually keep my head in the sand about the tragedies - mostly because I can't bear it, but also I think 'what can I do'?

All I come back to - is that we must start at home. We must start with caring for ourselves. We must start with compassion. We must start with 'do no harm'. When one has a deep caring and respect for oneself - how could one ever live with doing harm to another?

When we understand we are all fragile human beings, with egos which are easily bruised, a deep desire to be loved, understood and cared for.

I can only continue to hope for world peace, but I can work in creating it on my own heart.