Does it feel to you like it does to me that the world is burning down around us? Since my last post, accomplished in the throes of grieving the terrorist attack in Miami, there have been two shootings by police, two shootings of police, the mowing down of scores of people in France by a semi-truck, and scores of people killed in terrorist attacks or by mad men in Afghanistan, Germany and Austria. These are just the headline horrors that have caught the attention of western media. I can only begin to imagine what has flown under my news-radar in places like Syria, Pakistan, Israel, and Mexico. It’s really hard to not feel anxious and afraid.
How do we manage this fear and anxiety? One way is by attacking fear with purpose. My life purpose is peace. Not peace merely as the end of conflict as we define it narrowly in english. Instead, my purpose is peace as it is defined in Hebrew. Shalom (peace) means joy, health, wholeness, fulfillment as well as, “Hello” and “Goodbye.” In fact, peace in Hebrew is a kind of very short blessing or wish or hope for someone else. When I hear about all the awful things going on around us, I double down on my purpose. I work even harder at growing the joy, health, wholeness of the people and communities around me. By doing this, I know that I am making a difference, no matter how small, in pushing back the darkness and anxiety that the perpetrators of terror want us to feel. This gives me joy, fulfillment and hope.