As I sat down to write this morning, I saw the headline about another terrorist attack in France. Another. These acts of violence–whether domestic, abroad, politically-motivated, racially-motivated, or simply undefined–leave most of us angry, sad, or at the very least, unsettled and uncertain. Here, in a quiet neighborhood in the northeastern US, I can easily see the world as pleasant, safe, and rich with beautiful opportunities to learn and work freely in any way I choose. These are true qualities, and I give thanks for them. It would be easy to see myself and my life as largely unaffected by recent tragedies (gun violence, bombings, terrorist attacks, protests gone wrong). After all, in my little world, the biggest problems revolve around reading aptitude, sibling squabbles, and whether or not the recycling goes out this Tuesday.
But those feelings of security–while comforting and lovely–only last until I take one small step toward seeing myself as a citizen of the WORLD, instead of only as a citizen of my city. When I find the bravery to look beyond my family and my house, my neighborhood and my church, I risk the pain and fear of the scary world out there, but I open myself to grow in love and compassion. I set myself up to learn and to stretch my mind and my heart.
The stretching, growing, and learning is what I want for my children, too. Of course, I pray for their safety and always hope that they will not come face to face with tragedies like the ones we’ve seen in the news, but I also wish for them to know the personal–and potentially global–benefits of seeing their fellow human beings as travelers on the same journey, as brothers and sisters. That shared experience comes with risk–a risk I find worthwhile.
Wishing you Peace in these trying days. ~*~Erica~*~