On November 13th, 2015 the world held their breath as the events unfolding in Paris, France began to spread across every television screen. News of attacks on popular cafés, music venues and sports arenas spilled in as a hostage situation was still left unresolved. In awe and horror the entire planet watched as the deadliest massacre in France since World War II unraveled before their very eyes. In the wake of 4 suicide bombers and 4 distinct shootings, 130 people were left dead, 89 being from the Bataclan theatre, where the hostages were held. Not to mention the attacks that occurred on consecutive days in Beruit, Lebanon which killed 44 people.
It has been two weeks now since this incredible tragedy and it is important to recognize the emotions that may begin to surface from such a terrible loss, whether loved ones were involved or not. Grief has many stages and it is vital to acknowledge that this will be experienced collectively. It is natural and necessary to allow whatever emotions that may present themselves to be felt and released in order to process this hatefully charged crime against all of humanity. It is okay to be emotional; but a way must be sought to integrate these feelings and to respond in a way that inspires more unity, peace and love amongst one another as a collective human race. More importantly, there must be a moving forward with enlightened action. Seeking a way to attain this sense of belonging and support may lead to endless praying or simply changing one’s Facebook profile picture. But does that really make a difference? Is that part of the change? In an interview by German media outlet Deutsche Welle on Monday Nov. 16th the Dalai Lama gave an urgent message saying:
“I am a Buddhist and I believe in praying. But humans have created this problem, and now we are asking God to solve it. It is illogical. God would say, solve it yourself because you created it in the first place.”
The Dalai Lama has advised the world population against empty hope of an entity or energy that will come and save us. Praying simply isn’t enough. Showing support with balloons, flags and flowers is respectful and appropriate, but shouldn’t be perceived as the solution. Asking for government intervention and preventative tactics seems to further an unnecessary and absurd war on individual rights. So what is to be done?
The Dalai Lama advises that:
“We need a systematic approach to foster humanistic values, of oneness and harmony. If we start doing it now, there is hope that this century will be different from the previous one. It is in everybody’s interest. So let us work for peace within our families and society, and not expect help from God, Buddha or the governments.”
That being said, it is far too easy for the world to fall into a place of hopelessness, despair and fuming hate after such a traumatic act has been unleashed. Which in turn strengthens the warped perceptions birthed out of stereotypes and racial assumptions. The answer then lies within the ability to rise above and beyond these lower vibrational states and emotions. Moving into the space of Love, the only power that can truly heal and overcome the current world dilemma. The Dalai Lama made a brilliant point after the first major ‘terrorist’ attack that occurred on 9/11 and warned against the vicious cycle of violence and hate by stating:
“Human conflicts do not arise out of the blue. They occur as a result of causes and conditions.” He continues to point out, “If we instinctively retaliate when violence is done to us, what can we expect other than that our opponent will also feel justified to retaliate in turn? This is how violence escalates.”
It is not time to feed into the fear, to entertain the insanity, to continue to support racism and stereotyping and separation. These are exactly the issues that every major world problem and basic human dysfunction stems from. Suffering will not prevent more suffering, it will never happen. The Dalai Lama adds in his interview after the recent Paris attacks:
“I think that only a small percentage of people subscribe to the violent discourse. We are human beings, and there is no basis or justification for killing others. If you consider others as brothers and sisters and respect their rights, then there is no room for violence.”
The answer to hate is not hate. It is Love. Love must be the focus, Love must be the goal. Otherwise all the death and struggle is in vain and no respect is shown to the lives that have been lost. It is true that much damage has been done, but it is time to bring action and awareness into local communities to resolve and restore the peace that is entitled to every soul living on this earth. Love will facilitate the growth, the change, and the overall shift of consciousness that is necessary to create a world in which balance, peace and prosperity prevail.
Sources: http://www.dw.com/en/dalai-lama-on-paris-attacks-work-for-peace-and-dont-expect-help-from-god-and-governments/a-18852858, http://www.dalailama.com/messages/world-peace/9-11, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/November_2015_Paris_attacks