When we see something terrifying unravel before us on the screen, the first thing we usually do is jump to solutions and try to insert ourselves.
This must be done.
You should do this.
Hurry, do it.
I can help by doing X, Y, or Z.
Why aren’t they doing it?
I’ve written this piece a few times and every time, I’ve stopped myself, and deleted it.
Maybe it’s time to try something different. Maybe we should just stop and, instead of immediately trying to insert our will or opinion on what’s happened, perhaps we should just try sitting with it for a minute.
What if we took the stance that we may not know the solutions to the problem? What if we were good with that for now?
What if we just sat and really tried to imagine what it must be like to have the safe place called home instantly turned into a real-life nightmare?
What if we breathed into that reality and really, truly, and deeply empathized with the people who are living it right now — not only in Paris, but in Lebanon, Tunisia, Russia etc.
What if we looked around us and, instead of taking our momentary safety and tranquility for granted, we felt thanks for it?
Instead of letting ourselves get too fired up about anything right now, I suggest we mentally stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our fellow humans who are living in horror right now.
No suggesting. No blaming. No changing. Not yet.
Just being with it. Just standing there. With them, but in private.
This is empathy. This is solidarity.
***No, I didn’t misspell ‘empathy’ in the title. It’s the French translation. And since the attacks happened in France, I thought I’d… Nevermind. You get it.