In a world where every violent tragedy is painted as a sign of humanity’s degradation and certain failure, I choose to withhold judgement - not of the killer, but of humanity. The act of murder is vile and disgusting; our reaction to this particular tragedy is heightened because of the innocence of the young victims and the heroism of the adults. Instead of allowing ourselves to become inundated with the hateful feeling engendered by this vicious act, I suggest we do something entirely opposite.
When a thrown pebble enters the surface of a pond, its energy is immediately transferred to the water itself, creating ripples. The ripples carry the energy from the pebble until the energy is absorbed or neutralized, returning the surface of the pond to a state of equilibrium. The larger the rock or the faster it travels, the more energy is released upon impact, creating bigger ripples that last longer and take more time to find equilibrium.
A small private tragedy in a localized area rarely makes ripples beyond its own borders. These are our pebbles, leaving small ripples behind which dissipate quickly. To the people involved, the ripples created are no less important, but the number of people affected is decidedly less.
The Connecticut tragedy is akin to a boulder plummeting into a lake. The ripples created are immense - I am sure you feel them ripping through your soul every time you read a news article, see a post on facebook celebrating the lives of one of the dead, or when you look at loved ones of your own. It is impossible to imagine the kind of feelings felt by those at the point of impact, when our own feelings have such tremendous energy.
An instant after the stone strikes the surface of the water, it submerges, disappearing from sight. The only evidence anything occurred is contained in the energy rippling out from the center.
We all feel the ripples of this tragedy. I do not have children, yet tears still grace my eyes at the thought of loss these families endure. Social media roars with the raw emotions every time a ripple pushes past. My hope is that we do not succumb to the rage, the anger, or the hate, pushed forward so aggressively on the crest of the ripples. Instead, we need to embrace the opposite of those destructive emotions - love - and help the ripples to dissipate faster.
After a disturbance on water's surface, ripples travel until the energy is counteracted by an equal force, or until the energy has been absorbed by the lake itself.
As a ripple comes upon you, keep your mind focused on the people in your life and how much you love them. Look to those who have lost someone and see the love they feel for them - that love is what gives them so much pain, not the rage or hate they might feel for the killer. Let the energy of this event ramp up your love for everything and everyone. Negative emotions can not stand in the face of true, perfect love. Be part of the counteracting force that helps to dissipate the negative energy sent out from this terrible event.
A body of water whose surface is disturbed can never truly reflect that which is above it. Only by creating perfect stillness, absent of ripples, can a perfect reflection occur. The more we can help to buffer any ripples that do occur, the closer we as individuals, and we as a race, can get to perfect stillness. The way to find that stillness is to exist in a constant state of love, neutralizing the negative energy sent out from ripples such as the one we experienced recently.
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