I too was saddened by the fact that things like this happen in this day and age, on our glorious and diverse planet. But, the truth is that things like this have been happening for a very long time. We just seem to be waking up to it more. Because of a certain person, this discriminating abuse has begun to affect the masses. I wonder, have a lot of us been maintaining a certain “I can’t see it so it isn’t happening” attitude, up until now?
The girl was thankful that she had her mp3 player with her so she could drown out, and momentarily escape, the abuse. But she did have thoughts about how she would like to retaliate for the hurt she was experiencing, which I can certainly understand. I too have had dark fantasies when I found my self in humiliating and hurtful situations like this.
As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, Barry and I are reading The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu (a must read). Last night’s chapter really had an immense impact on me. It was all about suffering. As many of you might know, I have written a book, and I am just waiting to tie up some loose ends before I publish it. In this book I talk about how I suffered as a child. After reading The Book of Joy, I am coming to see that my suffering is a kind of spoiled-child type of suffering. In comparison to my suffering, these two kindly gentlemen share what they have suffered, putting my suffering into perspective. And they say that in comparison to what others have suffered,that they themselves have not really suffered. They talked about a psychologist, who had, herself, survived the holocaust in Nazi Germany. She found that the children who had the greatest chance of survival, during the holocaust, were the ones who had suffered the most prior to the holocaust. It seems that the children who were, as she put it, spoiled and coddled, were the first to perish; they died waiting for someone out there to come and save them.The startling characteristic that the surviving children shared was an ability to maintain compassion and love within their hearts, no matter what was happening around them. It wasn't determination that saved them, it was Love.
That really got me thinking. Could it be possibly be dangerous for us to be constantly revisiting our traumas, or even to lament over the traumas that occur in our "now"? I know Jason Silva talks about cognitive re-framing, noting that we can actually change our pasts (and even our present) by merely going back into our pasts and consciously looking for the good in it, rather than the reinforcement that we did indeed suffer. When we focus on the positive events of our pasts, we heal and actually transform both our past and present, from good to bad; or from sad to joyful.
Yes, that unfortunate situation that happened on the bus IS very disturbing and IS truly sad, but it is also an opportunity to see things differently; an opportunity to wake up and be more compassionate. I believe that we who have the most love in our hearts are being called on right now to share that love, no matter what we are experiencing at this time. We need to protect our Love and our Joy with everything we've got, so we do not allow ourselves to be "hurt" into stooping (even the tiniest way) to the level of our abusers. Remaining in Love and Joy is our purpose; and I believe it is the only solution to healing the darkness present in our glorious and blessed world. We do this by blessing the wounded-self of our abusers. We do it through practicing extreme forgiveness. We do it by having compassion for what those wounded-souls must have experienced in their own lives; for what has in turn made them full of fear and hatred. We cannot take on their darkness, unless we wish to also contribute to the expansion of that darkness. and I know this is definitely what we don't want to do. With knowledge comes responsibility, right?
A few days ago, I forgot my toque (a Canadian word for woolly hat), so I wrapped my scarf around my head like a hijab to keep my ears warm from the bitter cold. As I did that, I said to Barry, “I could be a Muslim, and I would register as one if that is what it took to contribute to correcting this divisive situation.” I would stand united, in Love, whenever and wherever my sisters and brothers needed support. What happened to my friend’s granddaughter is really an opportunity for a passive part of society to wake up and become more compassionate; to be compassionate towards what our Muslim sisters have had to go through, and are still going through right now. This is an excellent opportunity for us us all to begin to take a walk in each other’s shoes!
Love is truly our Divine Nature, our greatest intelligence and our most Powerful Strength!