Healing: A collective responsibility
by BK Jayanti
The violence we have seen in the past week in our cities has created an atmosphere of anger and fear. In itself, this can spread like fire. How are we to respond? Will more anger and frustration help?
There are many causes for the unrest, but this is a crisis that goes very deep - to the very foundation of our society. We appreciate more than ever the value of the police force that provides security and applaud the thousands of Londoners who showed their community spirit by organising a street clean up, but in the long term profound healing needs to take place. The rioting is also an indication of a deeper sickness in our society. Greed, inhumanity, and lack of integrity in the pursuit of financial or political gain are hardly the preserve of the young rioters. Young people are particularly susceptible to the myth peddled to them by society that happiness lies in material gain; this has left a huge vacuum inside with nothing to fill it.
Over the coming days it is important that instead of thoughts of condemnation, anger and blame we contribute to society with our humanity. The father of one of the three young men who were killed in Birmingham showed no bitterness but asked for our youths to remain calm and for the community to stand united.
By accepting collective responsibility we can strengthen our own capacity to live by positive values and to embody the behaviour that we wish to see in our children and young people. This will lead to much greater effectiveness in finding the answers and solutions over the coming weeks, months and years.
Om Shanti - an affirmation of peace to you all