This week, the world woke up to the news of another terrible tragedy – 59 deaths at a shooting during a country music festival in Las Vegas. CNN calls it the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. Tragedies like this always make me wonder – how do we stop this from happening again? What can I do to help?
It saddened me to see the stock prices for gun manufacturers rise as a result. Apparently this is a common phenomenon after a mass shooting happens. However, I cannot blame anyone for wanting to protect themselves because it’s only natural to feel that way. No one should be blamed. The more we make negative judgments about our fellow beings, the more separation there will be.
“Judgement creates separation, separation creates fear, and fear creates most of the problems in our world.” – Robert Schwartz
However I wonder if we can change how the majority responds to hate?
I always think that those who hurt others are hurting inside. So to me, the best and most effective way to prevent them from harming people will be to rid them of their pains. (However I cannot speak on behalf of psychopaths because I simply do not know enough about mental illnesses to theorize about it.)
Getting rid of the weapons will certainly help reduce casualties, but can we cut off the motives entirely?
When a tragedy happens, we get the opportunity to connect even MORE with those who are different from us and recognize the importance of LOVE. Even though I was not directly affected by the shooting, it reminded and encouraged me to keep loving, to stay nonjudgmental, and to get rid of anything that divides the people around me.
I really like Ellen Degeneres’ response. Or maybe I just really like her in general. She showed her audience that despite the recent events, which painted a world seemingly full of hatred and misery, there is a lot more good out there than bad and we should not forget that.
I love seeing celebrities use their platform to send positive messages to people, with humility. However just because we cannot reach millions of people, it doesn’t mean we cannot make a difference. We can still ALL make a difference by affecting the ones we can touch. It makes a difference in my day even when a stranger gives me a warm smile while passing by. Every positive action matters.
A smile from a stranger reminds me that people are kind. It invokes inside me a feeling of community or interconnected-ness. It proves to me that kindness is our universal language.
So to conclude. How can we make real change after a tragedy like this? I think the key is to keep communicating – with an open mind, and with empathy. Love yourself and love your neighbours. If everyone did that, then the world will be a better place. We need to teach that in schools, and to our children of the next generation. Of course world peace won’t happen overnight, or in my lifetime, but I’m hopeful that we can get closer to it in time. I know that I might sound like an idealistic and naive girl to some, but this is what I live by and I have witnessed how compassion can transform fear into love.
Think about the alternative. We can judge and condemn those who own guns, or even those who sell guns, or those who pass the laws that allow guns in the country, without bothering to understand them. Will we ever be able to change another’s opinion that easily? I really don’t believe that debating with each other can solve the world’s problems. Remember what it’s like arguing with your parent(s)?
Our material world and narcissistic society cloud our judgments, making us competitive, greedy and insecure but our inner child-self knows what we really want.
WE ALL just want to love and be loved.