I suppose I have an inherent desire to show a world the value of kindness, of the wonder in knowing beauty is a sweet reality when speaking of love. I would suggest another reason is because I have experienced love in my lifetime. I need to add though that with the beauty and magic also comes the pain, we do endure the full cycle of what love might mean in our lives. For instance, in the manner of love, we may appreciate the horrific nature of loss as passionately as we do that feeling found in the euphoria of falling in love.
Today though I want to speak of tragedy. If you pay attention to the news, you are starkly aware of the mass shooting that occurred in New Zealand on prayer day for the Muslim community. (If you have bias toward certain faith impeding upon your own please stop reading). I have tried, as always with such unbearable realities in our society, wanted to somehow wrap my head around this event. I have my own silent condolences, though will use this page to express how I really do feel.
I think in the matter of loss that people feel today is shocking, ripping the hearts out of so many members of the Muslim community. Last night I saw a group of gentlemen that gather at a local coffee shop in town and as I was packing up my things to leave, I felt compelled to walk over to their table. I expressed my own sadness, and just wanted them to know they were in my heart. There were about six of them and after thanking me, I heard one say words that are simple but impossible to ignore. “We are all human,” he said with a sad smile. He said it again, and his friends all nodded, and I said good night.
I can appreciate loss in my life, but I have never experienced loss because of the color of my skin, or the cultural mores of my society. I say this with confidence and anxiety because it allows me to realize how much further I need to go. I have been in a difficult state of mind in recent months, however all of that pales to a community that is under absolute scrutiny the minute they walk out their door, only for being who they are, what they believe, the piece of cloth they wear upon their head. When I think about the country I live in, the world we exist in together I am truly appalled by how easily we forget that simple reality.
We are all simply human.
A different love story perhaps, but yet it is still love, and today I am grieving. Yesterday, I showed a film, a Ted Talk – Islamophobia, by Suzanne Barakat. It speaks to the photo I will post with this writing. She herself is a human being of Muslim faith who experienced tremendous loss, but please be cognizant of the importance of language. I called her a human being before identifying any other aspect of who she is as a person in our world, in our lives, in our neighborhood.
Please practice love today.
Her story is linked in the caption of the photo – Peace!