Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wishing you love, light, and the means to preserve it

wishing you love and light - Ordinary Courage

I love the look of Dr. Brene Brown's blog, Ordinary Courage, as well as the uplifting message in this post, "wishing you love and light,"published December 18.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Please read the entire post and not just the excerpt here. H/T: Jane for bringing this light to my attention. 

The Dr King quote highlighted in Brene's post is similar to the following quote attributed to the Buddha and published in Nepo's Awakening (December 17th)

In this world,hate never yet dispelled hate.Only love dispels hate.This is the law, ancient and inexhaustible
- Buddha
These two similar quotes hit me hard because I read them in the aftermath of the December 14th Sandy Hook Elementary massacre. 

On December 14, 2012, Adam Peter Lanza, age 20, fatally shot twenty children and six adult staff members and wounded two at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Connecticut. Before driving to the school, he had shot and killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, at their Newtown home.After killing the students and staff members, Lanza committed suicide by shooting himself in the head as first responders arrived. --Wikipedia

In view of the wisdom in these quotes, and given the reality of recent tragic events, I wonder, "What is the correct response to senseless tragedy?" 
  • Vengeance, such as screening and "pre-treating" potential murderers?  
  • Vigilance, such as armed guards in schools, and teachers with pistols in the classroom? 
  • Regulation to limit the freedom of law-abiding citizens? 
  • Resignation to the flaws of human nature?  
  • Some combination of the above?
  • Something else not yet mentioned?

Light drives out darkness. This is evident every time we flip the light switch in a dark room. But, does only light drive out darkness as Dr King said?  Can the darkness of a lost human soul be brightened by some needed compassion? I believe so.

Both Dr King and Buddha further opined that only love dispels hate. Is this true?  Is compassion enough to stop a crazed, irrational, self-loathing sociopath with a death wish? The Beatles sang, "Love is all you need." Tell that to the families of Adam Lanza's victims.  

I don't know how to drive out darkness except by light, either literal or figurative. I do not know how to dispel hate, except by love and compassion. I do not know how to stop evil, especially irrational and heavily-armed evil, except by superior force. I believe in compassion to prevent hate and increase love. I believe in forgiveness to reduce stress and increase love. And I believe in taking dead aim on any demon-filled wacko who threatens me or my family. 

I refuse to die unarmed in a gun battle. 

A warm gun is cold comfort, but I would rather go down fighting than cowering in the corner with my arms around my children and my back to the attacker. And I am certainly willing to obtain all the licenses, training, and certifications necessary to make sure any potential thug or wacko looks somewhere else first. 

Wishing you love, light, and the means to preserve it. And if that means standing behind me, know that I am ready.