Monday, December 7, 2015
As I mentioned before, me and the kids went to my friend Kristine's house for Thanksgiving. Our celebratory holiday was two weeks after the terror attacks in Paris. After dinner, the adults talked as adults do: about world news. The Paris attacks came up, as well as the 24/7 news coverage. Paul, Kristine's husband, who works for a branch of the American military, gave an interesting perspective. He said, "We live in a 24/7 news cycle which makes it seem like the world is on fire. Three billion people lived in domestic tranquility last night. But you are not going to see that on the news. That would be boring."
I liked Paul's thinking.
Then San Bernadino happened.
I did watch the coverage because I wanted to know what was going on. Somewhere in the midst of watching the news, I had a realization. I said to myself, "Three billion people lived in domestic tranquility last night. And I was one of them."
Our planet houses 7,386,188,920 people, and counting, according to the World Population Clock. Perhaps four or five billion people lived in domestic tranquility last night. That would leave two billion people, plus or minus a few hundred million, caught up in war, famine, civil unrest, corrupt governments, shootings, both police and domestic, incarceration, gang/territorial turf wars, domestic/physical/sexual abuse, human trafficking, kidnapping, family arguments over insert your disagreements here, flood, fire, foreclosure, natural and environmental disasters, racism, sexism, any-ism that disregards a person's humanity, drug/alcohol addiction, injustice, poverty, homelessness, debt, bankruptcy, accidents, hunger, disability, divorce, and/or grief and anguish over any of these things, including natural causes of death.
We all have personally lived through some of these things, and may live through worse before our lives come to an end. (And the fact that we did survive trauma is a testament to the human spirit.)
A 24/7 news cycle bombards the world with bad news. (Anyone remember when TV used to go OFF?? Ya'll remember the static? Can we return to that?) Folks thinking the world is worse than ever. No, it's not. We are now privy to all that badness, all day and all night.
-Choose Oneness. The ego enjoys separating us into groups. Everyone is most comfortable around their family and their "tribe:" the people who share your values. I am most comfortable around Black holistic intuitive women. They speak my language. However, I've learned the most from people who look nothing like me.
-Choose Peace. If you want peace, be peaceful. Handle your childhood shit and your grown-up baggage so you can radiate peace. Chaos within radiates fear, creates chaos, and ruins relationships.
And I am all for speaking truth to power (i.e., Black Lives Matter, etc.). Activism works. Societies evolve because of social movements. I am talking about handling your own personal stuff so you stand inside your power with peace and confidence.
-Choose Love. We are made from Love. Love is what we are born into (hopefully), and love is the last thing on our minds when we leave. In San Bernadino, one of the victims who did survive, called her sister to say she loved her, and asked her to tell their family the same. Same thing happened during 9/11. People on the planes, in the Twin Towers, and in the Pentagon called their loved ones to say, "I love you." When time is short, you realize love is what matters. Love yourself, and love others.
So the next time fear permeates the airwaves, turn off the TV. Do not read social media comments that spread fear and hate. Remember: "Three billion people lived in domestic tranquility last night. And I was one of them." Then go do something that brings you joy. The world is full of glorious laughter, passion, bliss, creativity, service, and joy.