For once, I have nothing to write, nothing to say, nothing to even think. I am speechless, wordless and thoughtless. But I will try.
Las Vegas, I am sorry.
I am sorry because I contribute to the version of this world that seeks revenge. The version that places vengeance over unity. The version that can be as dark as you experienced this bone chilling Sunday.
I laugh at people because they have laughed at me. I gossip about people because they have gossiped about me. I push people down because they have pushed me down. I seek revenge from people who have sinned me. We all do. We blame, we act rash and we have neglected forgiveness.
We have neglected the act of forgiving the barista who gave us regular milk instead of soy, the Honda Civic that cut us off on the freeway or the long-lost cousin who posted political statements on their Facebook that are not of our kind. We didn’t forgive last Monday for kicking our ass, our boss for her picky lunch order or our ex boy/girlfriends for well, being our ex.
When we don’t forgive, we internalize. We stress. We obsess. But at the end of this crazy ass shit that we call life, does any of this matter? Because I am almost certain that the victims of last night would say no.
When we internalize the everyday messes of our everyday messy lives so deeply, we create an emotional poison within us that is so strong it can deteriorate our sense of selves and our sense of relations if it is set free. We all have our moments but we must actively try as a society to tame the revenge-seeker inside all of us. After all, a collection of a bunch of negative and privileged individuals who lose their temper at something as silly as a cold latte or traffic makes for a dark and heavy world.
This Sunday we saw just how dark and heavy the world can be, with the on-going global list of the numerous natural disasters and tragedies adding up. This has to be a time of unity. Unity of family, of friends, of neighbours and of passer by-ers.
Moving forward, let’s all commit to not sassing the barista for mistaking our order, giving the Civic the finger or thinking our loved-ones are evil because of their opposing opinions. None of this matters and none of it can anymore. Let’s stop projecting our emotional poisons out into the world. Deal and extinguish them internally. Unity is dependent on it.
Negativity is contagious. But what’s more contagious is happiness. Choose it when conversing with others. Just because you’re unhappy does not give you the privilege to spread the contagion out into the world through words, actions or attitudes. Seek happiness from others and give them the gift of happiness yourself. This is the meaning of life, having internal and external positive relations. Do not give in to self-pity spiraling into communal-pity. End the cycle. Enjoy your life.
I don’t know anything about mass shootings and I am not pretending to. It’s sickening. But I will channel this pain into kindness, happiness, forgiveness and love. Do the hard thing. Choose to kill the contagion. Choose to end the cycle.
Tomorrow, I will smile at a stranger, say yes ma’am when my mother asks me to do the dishes and will donate to a food drive. Because, well, this is life and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.
Love each other.
Keep the victims in your thoughts. Honour them. Let them remind you of the fragility and importance of life.
Again, I am sorry but I will do better. We all will.