From fear to kindness


By Toni Niemiec

On Feb. 20 there was a seemingly random series of shootings in Kalamazoo, Michigan. People in all parts of the world were stunned, they watched and listened, wanting to know the facts, to gain understanding, to feel some control around this event. Fear intensified as there were no answers to be found.

Two days later I read this in a blog by Mark Nepo (poet, author) around the shooting in his hometown… “If we look at humanity as one global body, then, like in every human body, there are healthy cells and toxic cells. And health in the world abounds when there are more healthy individuals than toxic ones. And every time we meet in kindness and truth, we strengthen the immune system of the global body. Everything is connected and therefore, everything matters. And every time you strengthen a heart, you lessen fear and violence somewhere in the world.”

What does this mean for us? Is it even possible to look away from the horror of the event and focus on the good we can bring to our immediate experience? It begins with stepping back from the news, looking at our home, our family, our friends, the opportunities we have to express in the world, the life we have, the good that is ours now. To focus on the goodness that is ours, to bring gratitude to the present moment and from this point to bring a smile to a stranger, a hug to our child, a kind word or deed can make a day, heal a heart.

Realizing that we are an integral part of this global body, it is time to turn away from the fear, from the attempt to understand an act that is incomprehensible, to rediscover that within us which is kind, courageous, and compassionate. It is time to take the action that our heart directs us to take and call upon the power that is ever present to create a life that is healthy, and a world that is healthier for it.


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