(This is my Chime in on Terrorism and Feeling Helpless)
Last week was, as usual, a total rollercoaster.
Our eldest has been suffering through some mystery illness that manifests in discomfort, fatigue and terrible cracked and bleeding eczema sores.
So we took him into the doctor for blood tests, and we will be seeing a specialist pediatrician early in December. We will do whatever we have to do to get to the bottom of his discomfort and illness, and we will roll with the punches as they are dealt.
My mom instinct thinks it might me allergies or autoimmune perhaps. The more serious alternatives are not something I could possibly get my head around so won’t even entertain any of the worst-case possibilities. They still lap quietly around my consciousness when he’s curled up with tears in his big brown eyes because he’s in so much pain.
Friday night we had an amazing party filled with amazing people and great energy. Smart and passionate crowd. I miss the days that this was a weekly or at least fortnightly situation in our home. Those days are probably over until the network is rolled out though.
We sat wrapped in blankets on my deck until well after midnight and talked about SERIOUSLY heavy stuff.
People agreed and disagreed, and in one case a grave disagreement eventuated. Both sides, actually, ALL sides of the offence and confusion were faced head on and everyone made a conscious decision to move past it and learn from it. It was not the kind of thing you’d see at a college party, as it didn’t end in blows or tears, just more deeply unpacking the source of the feelings and thoughts. THAT is how we should deal with things we don’t understand or that scare us. Face them for what they are, ask questions and gain clarity. And be compassionate.
Then, Saturday morning the news of the Parisian terror attacks came in.
I, like most other people in the Western world, have a handful of friends and family who are currently in or around Paris. One woman in particular; an award winning philanthropist and business-woman who I have grown very fond of in short order had posted on her Facebook that she’d be in Paris all weekend. Our dear friend Rob’s dad is staying in Paris at a conference right now, and his hotel is between two of the attack locations. So my heart and head went straight to thoughts of them and all the other people I “know” or can “relate to” who were waiting on news of loved ones in the area. Everyone we know is fine, but there’s a lot of people who are grieving for friends and family that were just out on a typical Friday night.
What happened in Paris happens every single day in some parts of the world, and there’s scarce or no news coverage of these events. Just thought it was worth mentioning that for the sake of balance and authenticity.
Now we are a few days removed from the attacks, and several other international states of emergency including earthquakes and suicide bombings in the far reaches of the world.
On Saturday in my slightly fragile (hung-over) state I felt helpless and sad.
I am still sad that the world has such hate and evil in it.
But I am not helpless.
Evil and bullies WANT me to feel helpless.
I will not.
Saturday night was quiet and we saw two of our very dear friends. The baby spent a good five minutes being tossed between them and giving them huge hobbity cuddles when we got up to head home.
Sunday we went to a perfect wedding, with smart, nerdy, quirky, kind, and wonderful people and their children everywhere. The intelligence, warmth and goodwill everywhere gave me hope for the future and reminded me, without a doubt, that there is more good than terror, and we are all responsible for maintaining this balance!
So here’s just a few things I am going to do to make the world better:
I am not going to give into blame or fear. I am not going to allow religious or political zealots to scare me into fearing other human beings. People are for the most part good, and that goodness is displayed in Muslim, Christian, Atheist, Hindu, Agnostic and Jedi alike!
Yes there are few crazy and terrifying exceptions like the Westborough Baptists or the Jihadists. I cannot personally go up to any of them and hug the stupid, the brainwashed, or the hate out of them. I CAN HOWEVER, be good, kind, honest and respectful to everyone who crosses my path and lead a life that I am proud of and raise good children who are tolerant and ask questions about things they do not understand, rather than fear them.
I can stand up for tolerance and stand up to ignorance and be intolerant of intolerance.
I am going to plant food, grow it and share it, and I am going to accept and encourage the gifts and kindness that are returned to me for my kindness.
I am going to open my home and heart to strangers and friends. I am going to laugh a lot. I am going to openly cry sometimes too. I am going to pray and meditate in my own way and let everyone and anyone else do the same, even though they are likely praying to a different god or deity than I have in my mind’s eye.
I am going to smile and hug people every chance I get. I am going to compliment and encourage those around me genuinely and often and point out how beautiful this world and the people I meet in it are. I am going to feed kindness and intelligence and encourage people to question me and themselves openly so that we can all reach better understandings.
And, most importantly and obviously right now, for me personally, I am going to continue to encourage the uptake of Electric Vehicle technology here in New Zealand.
Seriously, this is the single most important and directly impactful thing I can be doing right now, and every person who is thinking about joining the energy revolution or already has, is doing it too. YAY FOR ALL OF US!
Buying several billion dollars of oil from Saudi Arabia a year is directly and indirectly funding terrorism. Not everyone from that part of the world is evil of course, but, sadly, that is where the fuel that stokes the machine of terrorism in 2015 is coming from.
Why would I sit back and contribute to that? New Zealand has enough sunshine, water, wind and geothermal energy to be completely self sufficient in our general and transport energy needs? Why would I be okay with lining the pockets of big oil when I could be fighting hard every day to put dollars back in the pockets of Kiwi households through much more thrifty EV ownership. The money saved on petrol and servicing will go back into strengthening our economy and greater discretionary spending for middle and lower income households will open up industries and free up time and energy for better lifestyle choices for everyone.
On a more global scale, the world needs to STOP buying middle eastern oil. Get it from Canada, Norway and other areas. I understand that oil is integral not only for transport but also for plastics and manufacturing, but please cut off the Middle East until we see peace and an end to this terror.
This is not a pipe dream. And better energy, food, transport and living solutions are the only way forward here and everywhere.
I am NOT HELPLESS.
And I am no longer scared and angry.
I am determined that fear or ignorance will NOT get the better of me.
Have a great day, and get yourself out there and LOVE and LEARN your way to a better place for yourself and those around you. Fear is dangerous and exactly what the people who are funding and executing acts of terror are trying to achieve. Not being afraid is our greatest act of solidarity and defiance.