We must be in touch with the world’s pain, hold it ever in awareness, never grow callous or oblivious.
On June 9, at 3:00 in the morning in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a pickup truck appeared to intentionally swerve to run over a group of four homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk, then took off. One woman died; the driver has not been caught.
A few days later, in Paris, France, a mob attacked a teenage Roma boy, leaving him badly injured.
We must be in touch with the world’s pain, hold it ever in awareness, never grow callous or oblivious. We must confront afresh every day the question:
“What is mine to do in this world? Human hearts, including mine, are susceptible to hardening. How shall I be in this world an agent of gentle love? How shall I be an agent of gentle love where I am? Hardened hearts are all around me – and sometimes there is one within me. Am I prepared to respond in compassion?”Every day that question presents itself.
Iraq descends into civil war. Congo and Rwanda have both sent extra troops to their shared border after gunfire broke out, ending months of relative calm. Hundreds of Pakistani families have fled from a surge of fighting between Pakistani government forces and militants into neighboring Afghanistan.
How shall we agents of love?
For there is also in this hard and hurting world a tide of hope.
Our ancestors 10,000 and 1,000 years ago lived and died amid greater levels of violence. Only since World War II has the international community generally accepted the concept of war crimes. Last week in London was a Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict – the first ever such summit in human history.
Thank you for women and men of conscience who help awaken our own. Thank you for the capacity to be uncomfortable and face the difficult questions. Thank you for the yearnings within us for peace to all beings. Thank you for this green and beautiful world.