"What can we do as individuals in the face of inhuman violence, terrorism?"
We wake up to another day's revenge, retribution and rancor . The violence and brutality that surrounds us is the result of the destructive effect of fragmentation - one individual against another, one group against another, religiously, socially, culturally and economically. We are brothers and sisters, children of the same mother, inheritors of the same collective destiny. What we do to another, we do to ourselves. Why then do we behave as though we are inhuman warring tribal factions? How can we hunt or kill another? Is not the experience of pain same for all? Do not all living beings dread fear? How then can we perpetrate violence and pain on another? Will we today take the time to teach our children that division in any name whether sacred or secular is a crime? Will we tell them that we are human beings and not labels that divide us? Will we in this moment of crisis mould their young minds to be citizens of the world and not narrow bigots?
Ideological differences are at the root of the violence that is robbing sanity and endangering survival. When we become concerned with our own individual survival, with the survival of our group, our belief, we are being divisive and threaten the actual survival of the whole.
Let us have a deeper insight into truth. The violence and conflict we are witnessing is a dramatization of the unspeakable inner violence of humanity. We are not individuals, separate. What happens to us happens to all of humanity, all of life. Physically we might live isolated in our secluded homes, screening our domestic violence from the eyes of the world but psychologically we are inseparable from the whole of mankind. The poisonous fumes of our inner turbulence seep through the collective consciousness of humanity. The violence within us, between parents and children, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters and at work is the very source of danger and destruction.
Let each one of us respond with a sense of immediacy. Let all of us, the atheist and the God fearing, the peasant at the plough and the mother beside the cradle, the office goer and the laborer, let us all own responsibility for what is happening around us. What ‘can' we do as individuals now? What ‘must' we as individuals do now?
How can each of us be content to see some heroes and professionals sacrificing their lives to protect the safety of others while we remain passive onlookers watching the drama of terror unfold right in front of our eyes? The specialists, whether from the armed forces or the political systems can alleviate the pain of the moment. They can remove the symptom but the cause of the violence lies simmering within our consciousness. It lurks as conflict, suppressed anger, divisiveness and spite within every one of us. Until this issue is addressed, violence would continue to unfold in the world's nations in one name or the other. The real solution therefore is to turn our attention inward, can we recognize the violence within and give way to peace. Even if 10 million among us who belong to a nation of 1 billion will get into peace, violence will subside. If 10 millions will move into a higher state of consciousness, a state of total inner non-violence, peace and wellbeing would be possible. Though the causes of violence would continue to exist, they will not translate into acts of violence. We are the triggers of violence or peace. We cannot return to business as usual without steering away from our own inner strife.
The destiny of every human being known and unknown is tied up with us. In the crucible of terror that surrounds us, let us recast ourselves into a new generation of human beings. Let us move from the dark night of division towards the dawn of co-operation and Oneness. There is light at the end of the tunnel.