I wrote this piece after the club bombing by ISIS last November. It still holds truth for the present, especially after the continued bombings, shootings, and hateful, cowardly, murders by that hateful group of fanatics, who claim to be Muslim.
(I want to interject something here.) I met a very sweet young, Muslim lady who wears a hijab as she works behind the cash register for a local restaurant. She always smiles and is polite and exudes kindness. I asked her if she had any problems from customers because of her faith. She told me she has had people take one look at her and go to the next cash register commenting that they didn’t want “her” to take their order. This happened in a part of North Carolina (and I am sure many other places) where people from many different cultures live and work! How could people be so rude and scared of one very pleasant young lady when their own cultures were likely ones which have experienced prejudice or hate in earlier times.
I am a very positive person; I try to see the good in bad situations when possible. Many times in the past I was accused of “looking at the world through rose colored glasses.” Yes, in all honesty I was and am an optimist.
Now I have reached my senior years with more understanding of what life is all about; been through some truly trying times; and seen pain and suffering first hand from my own emotional and physical pain. I have witnessed pain as a wife, a mother, a friend and as a nurse. My striving for positivity helped me survive these rough times.
On hearing of the heinous crimes the evil beings perpetrated in France, I admit that I became overwhelmed with sadness, rage, helplessness, pain, and hatred that welled up inside me unbidden. How could anyone want to hurt people they have never met? How can they, in cold blood, murder and maim people who have never done them any harm personally or otherwise? How can they take their own lives for a cause that espouses this kind of behavior? I was reliving the horror of 9/11 still seeing over and over the destruction of three huge buildings as the terrorists crashed into the Twin Towers and then the Pentagon. How can anyone do these things?
So I felt some of those old emotions, empathizing with the suffering of our French “world family members.” As I sat there I knew I had to get a grip on myself. I was sinking into a darkness that I did not want in my life. I began to wonder what if the evil ones came to my country in droves? Worse still my own city?
Then I realized as Shel Silverstein aptly described it, “The what ifs came crawling in!” What if they tried to break into my home? What if they tried to bomb a plane that one of my children was on? What if they hacked our computer system? What if we couldn’t buy food or gas with a downed internet system? What if I couldn’t reach my two sons and their families who live about an hour or more away? What if they couldn’t find me in the madness? Whoa!! Stop!
I pulled out of the well of misery and took a long hot shower. As I felt the water wash away the sweat from some heavy house work I had done I also washed away the fears and helplessness from my heart. Yes I am still angry at those monsters!
But I realized I can not help the French people except by praying and sending God’s healing Light to help them. I live here and am too old to fight physically. But I am not too old to fight on the internet. So what am I fighting? I can not fight the murderers on line. If I print words that stir up more hate, what am I accomplishing? (Perhaps more prejudice against the good people of the Muslim faith just like after 9-11?) Not such a good idea.
Yes, writing these feelings out is good for me. But I do not wish to share those feelings with others. We all have enough of it to work through without being burdened or inflamed by the words of someone else. (I admit, I feel like cheering every time I hear someone on the news talking about how people are joining together to stand against these killers.)
So what is my purpose if I can’t spread more hate, stir up more rage, or pray for death to these killers of the innocents?
My mission in this life I believe is to try to shed some Love, Light, Peace and understanding wherever there can be.(There is none to be seen in the heinous deeds that were committed.) In short nothing I do here, short of prayer for God’s intervention can halt the pain and suffering occurring in France or anywhere else in the world. Nothing I say or do can annihilate the evil that has possessed these crazed beings to make them stop what they are doing. Again, I have to leave that up to God, the military forces and the world powers that be.
So what can I do?
I can make a difference in some small way wherever I find myself. I support those where I am, who are hurting by listening to their stories, with my words, by sharing, what I can, of my possessions or my time. I used to volunteer in a few causes and still do, to make a difference in my little microcosm of the universe. I share humorous or inspirational quotes or stories on Facebook and my blog. I love fiercely those around me to show them that love is strong and lasting just like God’s love. I am an instrument of peace and love. But I again admit I am not feeling much like it now. So what do I do?
I think the French are setting the best example right now of what we should be doing. We should stand strong and stand together! We should offer any assistance that we are able no matter how feeble we may think it to be. We should continue our lives as normally as possible to not encourage those who think they can take over the world! We as a world (well part of us we are working on it) can lift our military people and each other up in prayers, meditations, with our positivity through our lifestyles, with our hearts and our money, if necessary, to prevent the evil from stretching any further than it has.
Yes I am sure that some of the French people feel the same fears that I expressed earlier. But they are not letting their fear paralyze them nor squash their loyalty to their country, or their love of life lived to the fullest. We should live like they are living courageously and passionately. This is what we can do. We also need to pray or meditate or send positive energy to those who must make some difficult decisions. We need to stand together and send whatever support is needed to help our brothers and sisters in France.