What Will Your Reaction Be To The Terrorist?

Posted: 11 years ago | By: Christine Somers | In: Spirituality | Read Time: 2 minutes, 17 seconds

{Fans along the route of the New York City Marathon}

Malaise...that is the word that comes to mind as I have lived through the days and hours since the Boston Marathon Bombings. Malaise as defined by the Free Merriam Webster Dictionary means "a vague sense of mental or moral ill-being". The sadness that I feel for the victims and their families is coupled with the disbelief that another human being can build, place and explode a bomb at the feet of hundreds of people. I recognize that the individual or individuals who can carry out violent acts are morally bankrupted. But logic doesn't mitigate the general malaise that I feel knowing that such people exist. 

The challenge for me and I believe our country is to protect oneself from the people who would harm us without becoming fearful. When I was in high school and college, my friends and I  would discuss "how cool it would be to live in a commune together". Today I have to resist the urge to gather up those I love and move everyone into a new kind of commune; a commune started out of fear not out of a youthful enthusiasm for homegrown vegetables, affection and community. I know a fear-based life is not living, it is just surviving. 

What do we do now? Psychologists tell us that we are happier and feel more secure in life if we have some control over our life. How do we wrestle control back from the murders that maliciously kill and terrorize civilized people? I believe we take action. I am not talking about grand gestures but everyday kindnesses. Donate blood in an emergency, send words of encourage to not only the victims and their families but to the first responders, law enforcement, the investigator and the district attorneys that work on our behalf. If you are able donate money to a victims fund to help with the rebuilding of their life then do so. But I believe it goes beyond the immediate tragedy. Now is the time to be kind. Speak kindly to those you encounter. Use your words as a salve for the wounds inflected on other by life.  Lovingly touch the lives of those closest to you, your family, your friends and your local community. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. who's home was bombed in 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." We control how we will respond to those who would terrorize us. I believe through thoughtful words and kindness towards others, we will bring light to the darkness and love to the world. 

Be safe,