I hear the call of humanity ringing in my ears. Tears of rage at the destruction in Gaza and Russia/Ukraine. So many are asking as I am I - what can be done to stop this insanity? I can't comment on what can be done about war but I can address the heart wrenching ache and stomach flipping sickness I feel in my own body when I am confronted with war. The answer for me to this feeling is LOVE and before you roll your eyes and say "here goes Bron skipping through fields handing out rainbows in a basket" just consider what I have to say before you dismiss it.
I live in a blessed place called New Zealand. We are not perfect, on lists for terrible things like suicide, child abuse, heart disease death - we are at the top. For the most part though, we live in peace and have our freedoms. We have much to be grateful for. I'll admit, I know nothing of war and all its horror. I don't seek to comment on war and whether it should happen or what to do about it. I do, however, know something about love and about its ability to move mountains.
We see the people in Gaza, Russia and the Ukraine. Well we see some of them. The ones the media carefully picked out to splash across papers and our TV screens to cause the most dramatic effect and incite the strongest emotions in us. It got me thinking - I see those people all the way on the other side of the world, but do I see the people in front of me? I'm not talking about our family and friends - I'm talking the humanity that walks and drives around with us all day, the cashiers, waiters and bus drivers. Do I see them? Until recently I would say my answer would have been no. By seeing them I mean making eye contact - meaningful eye contact, not just a glance. Not staring either (that would be a bit creepy).
So I decided to start seeing people, connecting with them, smiling at them if they were just walking past. We just have no idea how much we help others by being genuinely kind (i.e. not in order to receive anything). I started to realise that if I smiled and genuinely showed interest in how the guy behind the counter in BP's day went - he might genuinely ask the next person how their day was. And you can always tell if someone is really asking or just going through the motions. Kindness spreads like ripples through humanity. I know it probably sounds pretty far fetched that genuinely smiling and saying thank you to that stranger that held the door for you could help the children of Gaza but it's my view that it does. And in any case, what else can we do? We're unlikely to be getting on a plane to the Ukraine to help out or draw up the peace treaty so I'm going for doing what I can. Because it's my belief that we're all connected - literally. What you do over there effects people over here. You can't put toxic sludge in the water in India and expect it not to effect the eco system in the water in New Zealand. Kind of like a restaurant with a smoking and non smoking section which is actually in the same room.
And the internet connects us more so. Because you might read this blog and share it and then your friend in London might share it, then their friend in the USA might share it and suddenly, a message about being kind has spread throughout humanity. That might serve humanity as opposed to posting picture after picture of the terror and horror or war with a message condemning humanity as a bunch of sick bastards. That's just my opinion regarding what might serve humanity and if you have been expressing your anger and outrage online then please know that I do not judge you for doing so. We all deal with things in our own way.
So I resolve to get my kindness on because I believe with all my heart that the best of humanity is still up our sleeves and we are capable of great acts of love, peace and unity.
Ok, so who wants a rainbow?
Bronwyn Bay (rainbow giver)