“An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.” ~ M.Ghandi
This morning many of us awoke to the news that another attack has been carried out in the city of Brussels.
It is suspected that the attacks were carried out by one or more suicide bombers at a time that would affect and bring harm to the greatest number of people.
This is the evil in our world that not even the most intelligent mind can rationalize.
But as many world leaders will vow to rid the world of these individuals, the truth is that if we are constantly seeking revenge, eventually we will all lose sight of what matters most.
No matter what countries we invade or take over, regardless of how many midnight bombings we conduct in covert operations, there will always be evil in this world.
Yet, in the face of trauma, bloodshed and pain we have the ability to plant the seeds of hope for a new world—the type of place that we want to raise our children in.
The individuals who carry out attack such as these are those who have lost the sacredness for life—they are blindsided by irrational hate and the fear of what they don’t understand.
But hate never drives out hate; violence can’t ever be used to end violence—because only love, hope and the belief in the ultimate goodwill of others can.
This is about making the choice to live courageously in a time of fear.
We won’t know what tomorrow will bring, and ultimately we can’t rid the world of all hate—but we can choose to live spectacularly in the face of all that is trying to bring us down.
Fear has been used for centuries as a way to control the masses; when we fear something, we retract, we live with boundaries and we look at our neighbor as the enemy.
But, the truth is without fear, terrorists lack the power that they so desperately crave.
We need to welcome all of those who make our world more beautiful regardless of their skin color, ethnic background or religious affiliation because terrorism isn’t about religion—it’s about hate, and regardless of what your beliefs are, no religion condones hate.
Collectively, we need to send the message that, while our hearts are saddened over the loss of life and tragedy in Brussels, that we won’t stop living— that we still believe in the goodness of others and in the world.
When we choose fear, we accept a life less than the one that we were born to live.
Challenges come in all shapes and sizes, and while we may not be able to understand what exactly drives someone to commit such heinous acts—we can choose to celebrate life for all those who had theirs cut unfairly short.
We can make the choice to not let fear alter our dreams, or hamper our plans.
We can make the choice to love each other as we would love ourselves.
If we allow fear to create borders within our neighborhoods and walls within our communities then we are also sending the message that fear runs our lives—we are waving a white flag, and letting the negative, hateful aspects of humanity flourish where red roses of hope once grew.
It’s not us versus them.
It’s us together, because that is the only way that we can change the world.
Tomorrow is not a guarantee, but today, here in this moment, we are safe.
The challenge, then, is to create a safety net out of the loving intentions of those who surround us with similar hopes and dreams for our world and its future children.
There isn’t a difference in a mother in New York City and a mother in Brussels; neither does one exist between a father in Australia versus Lebanon—because we are all men and women trying to raise children in a world that shows us every day that we may lose our lives at any given moment at the hands of someone who chooses evil over love.
Yet, it’s that collective awareness that can bring us together instead of further separating us from one another.
We can make the choice to love our neighbors as we love our own family, make the choice to live with our dreams bursting forth from our hearts and to not be deterred by the actions of a few.
We owe it to those who lose their lives every single day at the hands of hate and radical injustices to treat and approach each day as special and unique as it truly is.
We have to decide to live even more fully and spectacularly in an era of fear—not because we aren’t scared, but because we know it is the only way we can pay homage to those who have passed on at the expense of hateful righteousness.
As a world we need more love, to extend a helpful hand to those that need it and to wake up and seize every beautiful sunrise that we can.
To travel this beautiful and expansive planet kissing the stars in a thousand different languages and making love to each and every moment that we are presented with, opening it like the gift that it is.
Let’s live fully and beautifully in the face of fear, radiating hope and goodness and teaching our children that it is only those acts that will change the world for the better.
Because within each of us sits a powerful force to be reckon with—the knowledge that there is no one else like us in all the world, and each one of us brings a unique gift into this world.
So flourish, grow and love and together—let’s be the change that we are so desperately seeking.
Author: Kate Rose
Editor: Emily Bartran