How do I respond?

The news this week has been filled with horror after horror. The shooting down of the Malaysian Airlines plane over the Ukraine. The violence between the Israelis and the Palestinians. And the Christians who are being forced to flee from Mosul under the threat of death.

What is this world that we are living in? And how do I respond?

One response is simply to try to ignore it all. To get on with my own peaceful life, but somehow that seems inadequate. Besides, the fact that where I am living now is relatively peaceful (in my narrow corridor of life) is just how it happens to be right now. It may not be this way forever. Actually, looking at history, it probably won’t be this way forever!!

So burying my head in the sand seems not to be a good option. But what then? Continually reading news feeds simply escalates emotional response but doesn’t achieve terribly much more than that. I have plenty of my own feelings, I don’t really need the help of sensationalism!!

There is prayer, of course. And I do believe in the power of prayer – although don’t ask me how I think it ‘works’. And I do pray. But somehow praying for situations which are so far removed from my reality can feel a bit empty.

My friend and fellow blogger, Fran Rossi Szpylczyn, wrote about all of this earlier in the week (you can find her post here). Her answer or perhaps better her quest is to focus on finding peace in her own life. To me that seems like a challenge worth taking on.

To me, this means not only looking into myself for areas where I am not at peace. But also being attentive to my being in the world. Are there places, situations or relationships where I cause disruption? Am I the bearer of destruction in any way? Am I sowing the seeds of discontent? Are there any circumstances in which I take pleasure in another person’s pain?

When I start combing through my experience using this frame, I realise that perhaps I am not quite so innocent as I would like to believe. There are times when I operate out of my own unresolved woundings in such a way as to spread the destruction.

On Mandela Day I wrote on my Facebook wall that I was going to let go of old woundings. It occurs me that this may be the project of lifetime, but it seems a project worth doing!