Days like these show us some things very clearly.
We can see that most people respond with deep empathy and strong emotion when hearing about tragic events. This is the beauty of our humanity. We feel sadness at the thought of what others have gone through. We feel fear at the thought of it happening to us or our loved ones. We feel angry that someone, anyone, thinks it is okay to take someone else's life. We feel a connection with those we don't know. We feel our humanity more sharply on these days than on other, more ordinary days.
We can also see, when we open our eyes, that mainstream media are like emotional puppet-masters, saturating us with one tragic story, while ignoring others, just as tragic. Saturating us with a scripted version of that story that has been provided to all the major western news networks. This is not conspiracy theory, it is fact. Same words, same script. Provided by who and for what reason? These are questions we should all be asking ourselves.
The scripts are saturated with certain key words. A Muslim shooter is somehow always a terrorist, while a white shooter is somehow always just a crazy shooter. Politicians are closing borders while others are shouting 'See, I told you so, we should all close our borders!" Instantly the insinuation is that the Other has brought this bloodshed here to our soil, and so we better keep all the Others out, even though the majority of refugees are all regular people, just like us, escaping the very terror they are being accused of perpetrating.
You may feel that a day of mourning is not the right day to be talking about the murky world that is the mainstream media and global politics, but those invisible people who are hurting and mourning similar losses in other countries, those people whose lives have now been burdened with further discriminatory hardship, might disagree.
Today is a day to mourn. It is a day to pray. It is a day to stand in solidarity with all those around the world that have been hurt or killed by the despicable acts of others. It is also a day to think deeper. To question further. Who is really behind these acts? Is the story we are being told true, or is there something or someone else at work here? Or at the very least stop yourself when you catch yourself riding the wave of a media-generated meme.
Today is a day when you might venture deeper down the rabbit hole. When you ask, and discover, who is funding and training so much of the tragedy we see around the world? Sometimes you can only go so far into the rabbit hole and then you need to surface for a while, to find relief and reprieve. For some, their gift to the world is to give the rabbit hole no energy, while they spread goodness on the surface as much as they can. We all have a part to play, and any part from the heart is much needed now.
Today may have been a day to despair, but tomorrow is a day to get up once again. It is the only way to honour all those who have needlessly lost their lives not only in the past day, but in the past week, month, year and decades, to that which is planned to precision in the rabbitholes of our precious Earth.
With all my heart, I put my vote on the goodness of humanity to prevail. As dark as it is in the rabbitholes, as strong as the agenda is to spread that darkness among our precious humanity, all the darkness in the world cannot extinguish what amounts to the light of 7 billion people, the majority of whom want the same thing: lives of peace, wellbeing and love with their loved ones.
And now desiring those things even more today than yesterday.
And so our collective light grows in the midst of these tragedies.
It is our duty, and responsibility, to keep our light strong, to keep our hearts open, to see what is difficult to see, and to keep going when all seems lost. Remember the saying, it is always darkest before dawn, and our dawn is long overdue.
Will you make a pledge today? In honour of all those across time, whose lives have been taken or affected by the many departments of darkness, in honour of all those children and grandchildren and generations set to inherit this planet long after we are gone, I will keep my light shining bright, I will keep my heart open, I will do what I came here to do.