Monday Meditation: Our Tragic Response

In light of the tragedies over this past weekend, meditation is even more important than usual. When violence is perpetrated on any community, it affects everyone. The responses via social media have ranged from poignant to repugnant. While each person has a different way of processing reactions and feelings, when do they cross the line into exploitation?

Most people would agree that the media hypes a story because it's trying to garner viewership for ratings, and therefore, advertising dollars. Reporters will use body language, tone of voice, and inflammatory wording to pluck the emotional strings of those who are watching. Many will lament this behavior, yet they are riveted to the channel, and won't turn it off.

Social media isn't much different. The last few days have proven this to be true. "Pray for the people of ____"; "Don't pray for the people of ______, religion is evil"; "Change your profile to show your support of ___"; "Don't change your profile for this tragedy because that means you don't care about this other tragedy"...

Rather than promote awareness, show solidarity, promote peace, etc..., each of these draws attention away from those who experienced the tragedy, and toward the creator or perpetuator of the meme. Personal, political and religious/anti-religious agendas shouldn't be at the forefront of this aftermath. This isn't a contest to see who is more supportive or who is more intellectual. It's about processing what's happened; finding a way to both comfort those who are hurting, and deal with the ones who are perpetrating the pain.

Terrorism is about inflicting panic and dread. When the people of Paris were attacked, they stood together in solidarity to say, "We are not afraid".  Those who were not there but wanted to show support found ways to do so, even though they knew it was simply a symbolic gesture. They felt helpless to do anything more, and the world is grieving for them, for those in Beirut, and those Syrian refugees who are fleeing from those same terrorists.

Rather than bullying each other into a set way of thinking, let's find ways to lend help and support. By operating from fear, poor choices are made- choices that affect the entire world. We are all connected, and what happens to one of us happens to all. We won't find easy answers to these problems. Right now, let us simply be kind to one another.

It's something to consider...

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