8.8 Editor's Pick
March 16, 2019

60 People: Killed in the Name of Hate, Ignorance & Fear. 


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49 people died in a mosque on March 15, 2019.

49 people peacefully connecting to their sacred selves.

11 people died in a synagogue on October 27, 2018.

11 people peacefully gathering to celebrate the birth of a child.

Countless others have been killed before and since in the name of hatred.

Countless lives have forever been shaken, altered in a state of loss from which one can never fully recover.

Memories are cremated, hopes are buried in the ground, all due to a hammer of hate wielded in a condition from which humans still have not evolved.

We hate.

We get lost in the mindless act of nonacceptance.

We toil in the throes of our conditioning, lost to the voices of our tribe, our caregivers, and our own sense of worth.

We are often so bent on making others just like us that we kill them in a fit of fear just for being different.

We work so hard to fit in that we hate those who refuse to, or can’t fit into our version of normal.

We are often hypocrites.

We’d ignore a child being beaten and tormented but focus on that child for being different. We ignore a child hungry in his bed but demand his life be spared in the womb.

We are a lost species in a great many ways; a species bent on killing the uniqueness out of us and tampering down the spirit of evolution no matter how willful our souls are to experience it.

But we can also choose to be compassionate humans being.

For each bullet that flies in hate, a person responds in love to provide comfort and aid.

For each nasty word spoken, a human heart beats to embrace our differences.

For each cross burning in the minds of the ignorant, a man stands with a bucket of understanding and love to douse the flames.

We are, for all of our weaknesses and misgivings, a species with profound possibility given to great leaps of potential.

We are both blessed and cursed with great capability of thought—and with the right of both sinner and saint—to create heaven and hell right here on sacred ground.

When the blood spills and runs the ground red, many of us will bless it and others will work to heal it.

When the air is rancid with devastation, some will celebrate and others will respond to ease the suffering.

Who we are as individuals often determines who are in these thought groups, and who we are represents the power of minds to choose. Often, it comes down to a choice to be lost in the mental fixations of fear—or found in the completeness of our heart’s song.

Those voices within us demand our attention—our attention is simply a matter of us exercising our power of choice.

60 people plus have been killed in the last six months for nothing more than a choice.

60 people plus have lost everything for nothing more than a mindless adherence to fear.

60 people plus, stones thrown into the lake of history whose ripples will be felt by some and forgotten by others.

60 people plus who represent the countless others who became victims of the choices humans have made; humans who have forgotten their hearts in the supplication to fear.

The prayer I offer the universe today is not just for those hearts and minds affected by tragedy, but also for those of us who are mindful of our place in the great sea of universal expression—and for those who choose love.

I pray we are strong enough to carry the load that fear places on our shoulders.

I pray that we are blessed with the fortitude necessary to extend the hand of acceptance to those around us.

Perhaps that hand can stop someone from pulling a trigger.

Perhaps that hand can offer a mind blinded by rage a new perspective on their path.

Perhaps we can truly make a difference.

I pray for peace.


See how you can help the victims of this attack here.

author: Tom Grasso

Image: Rashid Umar Abbasi / REUTERS

Image: Elephant Journal / Instagram

Editor: Julie Balsiger

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Alice DeRosa Mar 22, 2019 4:48pm

Very well said. I hope one day we wake up and realize we are all connected and in this together. I enjoy Elephant Journal so much, because I feel like I am connected to like minded people.

Vicki Lee Mar 17, 2019 7:33pm

There is so much outpouring of love now, after this horrendous, murderous event in our beautiful and peaceful country, with its openness to cultures and diverseness that brought these victims and their families to New Zealand. That is the focus on supporting and loving them in this moment, I give no attention to the hate that befell them and only to love and generosity. I’m not blind but I’m also aware enough to know that it is the only way through this heartbreaking and concerning time. Thank you for your kind and loving words.

Denise Ferguson Mar 16, 2019 2:19pm

It is also sad to see that some of the hate has grown from this event. Facebook posts about wanting revenge, knife wielding people trying to get into the courtroom of the killer, and eye for an eye.

We must strengthen our sense of love, our ability to love and our commitment to loving each other in these times.

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Tom Grasso

Tom Grasso is a Colorado-based seeker, meditator, blogger, and creative wordsmith. More importantly, he is a father of three (meaning he is also a lecturer, teacher, chef, order taker, taxi driver, coach, mentor, and aspirin addict) and has found great joy in sharing his life experience to the benefit of others.

Tom is an abuse survivor and a reformed (though unapologetic) bad ass warrior who bears the scars of his adventures and the power of transformation in every word he writes. As a former firefighter and rescue tech, Tom understands the fragility of life and the impermanence of each moment.

You can find his books on Amazon, including his latest book of romantic poetry which can be found here. You will soon be able to purchase Tom’s short stories (and erotica) on his site. Don’t forget to like his “blog page” on Facebook.