Choosing kindness in the face of fear

As the curtain falls on another desperately sad week marred by terror, loss and heartbreak across the globe, we find ourselves in deep contemplation over the futility of it all.


When will this madness end? How much worse can it get? And is there anything we can do to make a difference?


If you’re at all like us, terrorism events like the ones which played out across the news this week – and in the weeks, months and years before – leave you feeling helpless and heavy-hearted.


Time and again we’ve heard our world leaders come out comdemning the evil ideology that drives these insidious attacks and as always their language is around ‘confronting and destroying’ the threat.


But how well is that working out for us?

When we talk about ‘destroying our enemies’ doesn’t that just fire them up more? Doesn’t it drive them to commit the next hideous act? And then the next?


Ofcourse it’s natural to feel rage in times like these – fury and a desire for revenge. But is that the answer?


Yes, we need to take a strong stand – but our actions, and the language we use to frame them, is so important.

Because one of the most dangerous things we can do is to raise the next generation of children with hate in their hearts.


And that’s where all this madness starts. With hatred. With fear. With marginalisation. And with that ‘eye for an eye’ and ‘us verses them’ mentality.


So what can we, in our own communities, and in our own families, do to make a difference? And is there any use trying?


It’s hard to say. But one thing we know for sure is that we don’t want our children to grow up in a world where they’re afraid to go out for dinner with their friends, to a concert with loved ones or to travel the world.


So at a grass roots level, we can start by choosing kindness and compassion – towards ourselves and all those in our midst.


This doesn’t mean we bury our heads in the sand and pretend the bad stuff isn’t happening. Not at all.


It’s our responsibility to be engaged, and to understand what’s taking place in the world around us. But it does mean that when the dust settles on tragedies like these, we have to look for the good. And when we find it, we celebrate it and we share it around like confetti.


It’s the media’s job to report the news of the world – and unfortunately more often than not it happens to be negative.

But we’re not the media. And we can choose to change the conversation if we’re willing to keep an open mind – and to bring kindness, respect and compassion to the table.


Because despite the depressing news streaming into our lives on a daily basis, there are always inspiring stories of hope, joy and kindness out there. Sometimes you just have to look a little harder to find them.


In our mind, the best thing we can do as individuals during challenging times like these, is to start thinking about the way we communicate and to take responsibility for the impact our words and our actions have on the world and all those around us.


We can either use our words to lift people up, or to tear them down.


The choice is entirely ours – and ultimately it will define who we are and the kind of world we live in.



X Lee