Today, as I was headed out into the spring rain for a hike in the woods, I noticed I was tagged on a friend’s post on FB. He had written something about the shootings in Florida. It was humble and heartfelt. And then another friend commented on his post. And by the time I was finished with my walk in the woods, when I reconnected, there were about 94 comments. It seems to me to be pretty much a debate about guns. If we should have them, or if we shouldn’t. It was getting pretty heated. I think it’s a valid debate to have, because it is a question that needs to be answered. But as I was walking along the path today with the tips of the twigs dripping tear shaped drops, I thought about my daughter’s text, the day after the shooting. “Mom, why isn’t anyone doing anything about this?” I gave her my answer, in the language I speak, which isn’t political and it isn’t based on history or statistics. After all, I teach yoga. I guide meditation. I write about peace and love. And today, when I read the post from my friend, I didn’t type in my answer as a “like” and a comment. All I did was leave that two-hands-pressing-each-other in the form of prayer-emoji.
Of course, I do think it is important we work to fix this problem. It’s important each individual have the right to speak out. That members of community, of our country, almost in a frenzy, churn energy up and become passionate. Because it is often in our most passionate moments that change can be done. It is important to have a voice, and to express our thoughts, as the young girl did, as my friend has, because it is important to “do something.” And most might feel it is probably more helpful than posting an emoji of prayer hands. After all, great changes can take place even as one.
So make no mistake… I think it’s important, really important, to continue working on this, debating guns, figuring out school safety, background checks, and all of the stuff that will protect our kids. I taught elementary school. I had a classroom of 26 kids under my watch, year after year. Most of my favorite all time people are kids and teens. My daughter is in a classroom teaching kindergartners as I type. And while violence is everything I’m against, I can pull out a metaphorical sharp sword here and there to defend what needs defending. So I do think this debate is important…
But here’s something more…and in addition to, what everyone is saying. And though people have said it before, I’ll say it again…
Let’s go beyond. Let’s go deeper. Let’s peel it back and look closer. Let’s notice that there’s real, and severe, and deep fractures that need healing in our communities . These fractures are in kids, and teens, and families, and corporations, and our environment. They present themselves in fear, and anguish and anger, and addiction and insecurity masked in ego and real and true sicknesses, in global warming and crashing economies. There are fractures that need healing or the violence won’t stop, no matter what we provide or take away from teens.
And I humbly suggest, that while and during everyone’s outcries, that in the midst of the outcries we still take time for silence. Not just the silence of prayer and meditation. Which I do believe are powerful. But the silence that is collective. The metaphorical silence that just for a moment, is a moment free from anger and pointing fingers; a space to listen, and hear. That leaves the space to find answers…and even more importantly, the real questions, so we can get to the real cause which can once and for all eliminate the symptoms.
The debating is good, it stretches closed minds and expands narrow thinking. But there’s a fine line to the manner in which we use the energy to solve this problem. A fine line in the manner in which we work towards a solution of peace and safety. Because done in a manner that perpetuates peace, I believe, puts us on a track where we can find the answer to the deepest problem…
A school shooting is so, so much more tragic than the weapons used. A school shooting is the undeniable truth that we are, in shocking and horrific ways, turning on each other.
There is a way to fix things. And I believe it has something to do with the word, “together.”
In the “prayer hands,” not representing any specific religion but the human earthly condition; if both of these hands press together with the same force, they begin to feel as one.
So, like I said before… while all the debate is going on, I’ll speak up and say that I believe, one of the ways great changes can take place, is as “One.”