Right before the time of the Boston bombings, I read someone’s status on Facebook that was asking why people weren’t courteous, polite, or even friendly anymore. This woman had so MANY comments as replies. Everyone was willing to pitch in more than what I think the woman was asking. People wrote about their state of unhappiness. People answered that the economy in this country was awful. People complained of working too much or not working at all. Some claimed that the media contributed to the sad mood as well. Unhappy relationships was another factor and it was all just too much and too hard to stay positive. I think it’s definitely safe to assume that the collective response was, it is hard to be happy when everything around us is in a bad place.
I did a little thinking back at the post I did for this positive series. Find the Love is where I encouraged you to surround yourself with people who uplift you and pretty much ditch those who fuel negative energy. After the story I heard this weekend, I’m having a little change of heart on this topic.
This weekend while at yoga, our instructor told us a very sad story about a friend of his, who was volunteering in Africa, was brutally raped during a raid of the village where she was staying. Her husband was there too but overpowered. The image of our instructor describing how the villains also chopped her hair off before leaving her for dead, has stayed on my mind for days. He simply asked us to keep her in our thoughts and to put out positive intentions with our movement. He then asked the question, “What is the role for society when unfathomable events occur around the world, in major cities, or simply to one of our neighbors?” As we practiced with privilege, as he stated, he continued to give us his take on what our role should be.
It’s simple really, but many might not think it is enough. When someone decides they want to live a negative life, despite their suffering being non-existent, minimal, temporary, or a life-threatening disease, a horrific assault or a bad run-in with Mother Nature, our role is simple.
Our role is to offer our space. Our role is to be that safe-haven, positive space for those who need us. Our role is to love those who are hurting, to offer our prayers, our positive energy. We are to simply support those who have endured pain…with love. With compassion, understanding and just being.
Perhaps it is easier to treat people the way we are treated. It is easier to suffer along with those who are suffering. But I want to give my yoga instructor’s idea a try. I’m not going to intentionally turn away from people who can’t flip their emotions to positive ones as quickly as others do. I’m going to go ahead and offer my space.