Tara Nanayakkara

Peace and Freedom

It has been discussed in churches, coffee shops and every other place people gather to vent their fear and outrage; the latest hate-fueled tragedy that has once again rocked the world from its unsteady moorings. It will be written about in countless newspapers and blogs as we try to understand how and why the atrocities of human evil are able to pierce all levels of society with knife-like precision. From obscure pockets in island nations to grand old cities steeped in history, there is the undercurrent of fear and the inevitable question: Which  country will feel the deadly effects of extremist groups and hate-mongers next?

The saddest part in all of this is that those of us who internalize the news clips and read the backstories of the victims aren't even the ones whose consciousness needs to be raised over the issue of violence and murder. We already care. We hurt for the victims and the families. The people who should be forced to face the evil they have committed don't even care. They're proud of the destruction and mayhem they've caused. It gives them a sense of power that they do not deserve.

In the meantime we tell our children to enjoy life. Find happiness in the little things in life, a beautiful picture, favourite music, great food. All that is fine but what about those innocent people who went out one night in Paris because they had plans to attend a concert,  visit a restaurant or simply take in the sights and sounds of a fabled  city known for fairy tale romances and fine wine. What were they thinking as they planned their evening? How do you put this and all the other senseless  crimes against humanity that are perpetrated by the darker elements of society in perspective? How do you reconcile this reality with what we would want the world to be, a fair and just civilization ruled by love and compassion. If human beings are said to be intrinsically good, why can't it be that way ? It can't happen yet because we are ruled by the ego when we should be guided by our higher selves instead. The higher self is the part of our soul that grieves when tragedy strikes. The higher self sends out comfort and consoling to others be it the laying of flower at a memorial site and praying for the families of those whose lives have been lost. It is only through this means can we bring about peace and freedom to all.