I like words. I love language. Writing is the easiest way for me to communicate. So when I come across a website like this, I’m immediately drawn in.
Yesterday, amidst the tragedy in Orlando- I found myself silent. What is the word for what happened? I’m not sure. I found myself back at the page of words, looking for something to capture heartbreak bigger than my language allows.
I choses Ubuntu: (n) the belief that we are defined by our compassion and kindness towards others. (This isn’t exactly on the same plane as heartbreak- I know.) I didn't choose it as some yogic metaphor. And I certainly didn't choose it to be holier than thou.
I chose it as an aspiration. I chose it to temper the WTF screaming in my head.
I chose it as something to wish for and hope for and send out into the universe. For a second it made my heartbreak a little less intense. With each little like on Facebook- it felt like someone else saying- "yeah, me too- I want to believe this too." To those folks, I thank you.
I don’t know why bad things happen. Things like this- they cut at our core. They cut at my core. My heart breaks for the survivors, families, friends, witnesses, police officers, first responders, hospital workers and city. My heart breaks for the limitless circles of people effected by acts like this- those at the center and all the wild outbound ripples of people. My heart breaks for everyone touched, because they aren’t even aware of the journey ahead and the challenges and circuity of terrorism. Its brand new to them. Its Day 2.
But I chose ubuntu still. I’ve struggled for a long time to understand choice. There are times in life when we may feel robbed of our right to choose. Today, (unlike many days in the past) I am going to choose both- the hopeful and the ugly. One does not minimize the other.
I am angry. I am maddened. I am heartbroken. I am sad. I don’t understand and yet I understand so well. AND- for myself and the people around me, I hold onto the idea that we can be defined by our compassion and kindness towards others- not terror and hate.