Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017
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Orlando Skyline photo by Bill Dickinson/Wikipedia

Orlando Attack: Peace, compassion — not vengeance

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By Joe Niemiec and Toni Niemiec

Until Saturday night Orlando was a Florida city connected with theme parks and the “happiest place on earth.” Today it is the focal point of the largest mass shooting in American history. The person responsible is dead, therefore we will never know the reasoning (as if we could understand) for such a heinous attack against a select group of people.

Our prayers go out to the families and loved ones of the victims ,and then to the family and friends of the shooter. I cannot imagine the guilt and shame, (What did I do? What could I have done?) and the remorse I would feel if someone I am close to did something like this. Prayers for a nation to heal.

I pray that I can stay out of judgment and allow peace to flourish within myself. It seems too simple…but what would happen if everyone worked on peace within, non-judgment, empathy and compassion?

As the thundering crowd screams for vengeance, new laws and restrictions, I understand, feel compassion and then turn to hear the saints and sages that have worked toward peace for eons. We, as a race, have within us, the possibility of changing our behavior.  Do we continue with violence or discover the road to true peace? It is our personal choice.

I choose Peace.

It has begun with me.

Joe Niemiec

About Joe Niemiec

The Rev. Joe Niemiec Jr. began his spiritual quest in 1986 when he walked out of a Houston jail and was struck by the realization that his life was in shambles.

He began his quest for ‘getting back on track’ with 12 step programs, followed by learning and practicing meditation with a local Redding, California, teacher.

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