Facing Violence and Hatred

11 Jews killed inside a Pittsburg synagogue by a man yelling anti-Semitic slurs. This is less than a 5 hour drive from my house. The growing anger, fear, and divisiveness in our communities is palpable. I’m struggling to find an appropriate response. I feel anger and disbelief which makes me want to fight back, but my efforts seem to only strengthen the divisions as my opinions get clumped with one side against another. I then feel helpless and passive as I hope that the these conflicts will simply subside. I know there’s a midpoint from which I can act with strength and love, but I’m currently struggling to find it.

There is an increasing number of people that are choosing to shoot and kill groups of innocent people. Do they believe these deaths will lead to a better future? If their side “wins” the fight, will their community look more like they want it to? Or should the reality that many of these shooters are taking their own lives lead me to believe that these people simply acting upon an abundance of pain and misery inside of them? Am I alone in believing that the only way to restore healthy communities is by working together to build it together? Meditation seems like a useful tool to mitigate my own emotion reactions, but how do I help others who are suffering?

I appreciate the idea that to turn a forest green each tree must be watered, but how do we connect with people who are isolated and support people who are facing severe mental anguish? A huge amount of anger and hatred is required to open fire into a crowd of innocent people at a school or place of worship, and this takes time to accumulate, so how do we intervene? How do we shift the paradigms in our communities to promote love and cohesion? While crimes of hate continue to occur, how do we respond in a way that spreads compassion rather than exacerbate fear, hatred, and divisiveness? Meditation can help, but I believe our communities need more. I need help understanding how to contribute to a positive outcome. We need to work together to restore love and humanity. Time to meditate.

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