I had written a post about something entirely different yesterday, thinking no one would mind if I published it this morning instead, but then I saw the news in Belgium: Explosions in Brussels Airport. 31 Dead, 100 Injured.
Instead of posting that other blog I wrote to a friend in Belgium to see if she and her family are alright. I thought of Paris. Syria. 9/11. I thought of the tour we’ve been planning in Europe.
I don’t know what to say. These sorts of hateful acts keep happening. Too often. Too many places. Hurting too many people. Destroying our faith in humanity. Inspiring fear. Inspiring distrust.Especially of the unknown.
I love to travel. I married a foreigner. I studied anthropology in Australia. And I worry what this is doing to our shared humanity. Will people choose not to explore the world? To learn about new cultures? To see how similar we all are? Will fear stop my family and I from traveling? Is anywhere safe?
From remote tribal villages to metropolitan cities to the US presidential election hate is making headlines. And yes, there are plenty of things for people to be upset about. Oppression, poverty, abuse of power, climate change. But by blaming someone else (even rightfully) it may make us clear and purposeful in the short term, but it robs us of the greatest power we possess. Love. People are good. Humanity is beautiful. We feel best as individuals when we help others. We are wired, through our shared evolution, to feel good about helping one another and relying on one another. It’s how we made it this far.
So, while the news will focus on who is to blame and why we should be afraid, we have another option to choose. Instead of focusing on blame, let’s focus on what we all want: love, belonging, safety.
While we cannot individually right the wrongs in this world, we are not powerless. Far from it. We hold enormous influence over one another, often without realizing the extent of our own impact.
We can show love to every person we interact with today. Whether smiling at a passing stranger, paying someone else’s toll, giving someone a hug, listening with empathy, we can do a million tiny things a day to change the tone of hate to one of love.
I have that power. You have that power. How will you show your love for humanity today?