An Exercise in Compassion
Tragedies happen everywhere. Some are natural and unavoidable; others are conceived and carried out by a human hand. So often in the face of violent tragedy we find ourselves wondering what role Higher Power has played.
Some believe that tragedy is a direct punishment from an angry God. Others believe that Higher Power lets us sort out our difficulties without celestial interference.
I think tragedy is an exercise in compassion.
It is our human nature to respond to violence with threats of more violence. It is our nature to respond to hurt with anger.
But each tragedy gives us the opportunity to rise above violence and to rise above anger. Each tragedy gives us the opportunity to make compassion our highest priority.
It is easy to hold bereaved families in our hearts and prayers. We grieve their losses. We hold our own loved ones a little closer. At least this time, we were spared.
It is harder to have compassion for the perpetrators of heinous crimes. How can we hold terrorists and murderers in our prayers?
It is right to seek justice for those whose actions cause fear, injury and death. But justice and compassion can coexist.
I think our challenge in the face of tragedy is to hold all people in compassion. Not just the victims and survivors, but also the perpetrators.
Energetically, the love and peace that flows when we hold compassion in our hearts may be exactly what is needed to elevate the consciousness of our planet.
Perhaps tragedy is visited upon us for exactly this reason. Perhaps, when our first response is compassion rather than anger, the need for tragedy will cease.