Igot in what some New Yorkers refer to as a ‘tin can’ (taxi) the other day and said my usual, “Hello,” and asked to be taken to my home address. As we drove to my neighborhood, the taxi said, “Shoot, that is a new sign they just put up.” I looked up and it had a DO NOT ENTER sign, basically shutting off car traffic completely. I live in the Flatiron/Gramercy park area of the city and the Flatiron building is a high traffic area. I said to the taxi driver, “I wonder if they are doing that in response to the terrorist attacks going on in the world (shutting down high pedestrian traffic areas to cars) or just another experiment on how to move traffic?” As we all know, abroad there is the horrendous recurring incidents of cars driving into innocent pedestrians overseas.
The taxi driver responded, “People are crazy! Why is the world so crazy now?”
I said, “I know what you are saying.” People are disconnected, forgetting we are living, breathing souls. We are looked at as pegs for anger instead of human beings. I continued, “I hit a deer last summer, and one of the legs of the deer was broken. That deer would not survive. I felt horrible because I hurt a living, breathing being despite the fact that he jumped directly in front of my car and could have hurt me. So, if I was so upset about hurting an animal, it’s hard for me to get my head wrapped around physically hurting human beings.”
He responded, “I know, people are just crazy sick.”
I responded, “Why can’t people understand that every life is just as valuable as the next? You and I are equally as important to the world, every single one of us.”
He replied, “You and I speak the same language there.”
As I think about the fact that ill people are hurting innocent individuals again and again, creating fear about living life freely, I wonder: How can we fight back against this?
Peace has to start with you. I think the biggest lesson is to remind one another of how valuable each and every one of us is to the evolution of this planet. Recognize that what you might not understand or think of as a fulfilled life is in some way a part of the big picture and is just as much a contribution to this world as whatever anyone else does whether a person runs themselves ragged in trying to create things or a person who sits back and casually watches life go by.
It’s an easy, yet simple thing that we often forget: we tend to treat others not as lovingly or kindly. Today, this message is more important than ever. We see and know this because of the state of the world and the things we are fighting in order to keep the world a safe place, where life is valued and cherished throughout the world. Don’t disconnect or become numb; find a way to remind yourself that we are all connected each and every day. So maybe when you are about to lose your patience with that clerk, or that person in your way, or that car that is in front of you, ask yourself: “How can I connect with whatever I find so unbearable at this moment, and instead release it in another, more peaceful way?” Make it your way of saying I will not tolerate these acts of violence in the world against innocent people, including yourself.
Change your reactions. Let it begin with you.