These last few days have been rather ghastly for the world. Ghastly, and a little relentless.
Today, on a walk down windy, rain-washed streets, I thought: Is this the Earth's way of mourning? Does it keen through these gusts in continuing sorrow and drizzle unstoppable tears?
I was comforted by the poetry in those thoughts, a little to my chagrin. Am I shallow to be so easily comforted? Shallow and selfish? Then, I realized that it was merely a release through expression that consoled me.
Besides, what can one do in retaliation but live? Live boldly, our flames burning brighter against the darkness in exultant defiance and painful knowledge of the uncertain brevity of life. No matter what monsters seem to descend amongst us, they cannot wipe out life and joy.
A year and a half ago, when the world was shocked at the brutality unleashed in Peshawar, I wondered if compassion could survive in such a world. I wondered how human beings could unleash such terror.
But as we hear of more and more that could make us doubt our humanity, I become conversely convinced of the true goodness that lies in our hearts. Human beings can be extraordinarily compassionate. Most of us continue to lead regular lives, laughing and loving, and clutching those closest to us closer still when we hear of tragedy. In my own life, I have faced nothing but kindness. Perhaps this is my good fortune, but I cannot be convinced that we are selfish, not kind within. Some intuition tells me otherwise. Something tells me that we can be inspired to become our best selves, to soar to unbelievable heights, as much as we can be goaded to the basest of crimes.
I hope and pray that our faith in humanity is not further tested. If it is, as I am afraid it is likely to be, I hope we prove to be up to the task.
May the souls of those we lost rest in peace.