With news of the recent attack in Westminster, London, I want to share some words of hope.
Firstly, my deep condolences go to the people that were impacted by this attack, and their loved ones. My thoughts are with them at this awful time. I did have friends that were nearby when the attack happened. Fortunately none of them were hurt.
I would like to address the fear that immediately rises up both in the nation, and globally, when these kind of acts of violence happen.
I think it’s important that we, as a human family, continue to learn ways to put that fear down by putting things in perspective.
It’s sad for even one person to be hurt, let alone die, by a terrorist attack. But what’s also sad is the millions of people who could go on to live in fear because of these acts of violence. Some people end up never leaving their home. Others live a life in anxiety.
Fear is by far the greatest challenge we face in these times, and wisdom, hope and love are our antidotes.
Every single day, people in the UK die from suicide, accidents, poverty or other forms of violence. Every day. Does that mean we need to live every day of our lives in despair? Of course not. Not because it’s not sad. But because there’s many positive things happening every single day too.
What we focus on, has a tendency to grow and expand.
Excessive, unreasonable fear is the root cause of so many mental health challenges - anxiety and depression being the most common ones. In addition, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest our physical health is impacted by our mental wellbeing. So learning how to be less fearful and more trusting and positive is a powerful tool for our health and wellbeing. Which in turn leads to a happier, kinder and thereby safer world.
And what is the cause of this fear? Ultimately, it’s focusing on the negative.
Fear says: ‘Don’t leave the house. Watch out for strangers. The world is a horrible, violent, scary place.’
Wisdom says: ‘Hey, there’s about 10 million people living in London and 99.9999% have not being physically touched by this attack. Spending time with our fellow human beings and getting fresh air helps to break down barriers and brings our community together. This will lead to less attacks and less of other forms of illness too, which is far more common. Love and hope is always greater than fear and anxiety. London is open.’
These things will, unfortunately, continue to happen. Whether in London or anywhere else.
Let’s act wisely in these times as best we can. Let’s put the news in perspective. Let’s not just focus on what’s going wrong, but what’s going well. And let’s continue to contribute to the good.
Do the millions of daily acts of kindness hit the ‘Breaking News’ on CNN everyday? No. But that doesn’t mean they are not happening.
So let’s grow more love and kindness in the world today.
Do a random act of kindness. Talk to strangers. Share positive articles like this one. Text an old friend.
The words from the movie The Shawshank Redemption, come to mind:
Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.
Sending love to you all.
Leave your comments. I’d love to hear your response to what I’ve shared.