My heart aches, my eyes sting with tears, because of the constant stream of violence I ingest from the daily news. I want to blame the 24/7 stream of news that presses and impels journalists to find the sensational and to overload us with more bad news than we need. Sometimes I decide to close my eyes so I see no evil, cover my ears so I hear no evil, and forbid you to speak of this evil. I don’t want to know.
It is magical thinking; if I don’t listen and watch it will stop happening. Then I feel guilty because I don’t want to see and hear your pain, to know that you are being beat up, shot up, raped and reviled, displaced, dismembered, deprived of family, home, food, safety. How can you stand it, God? Does your heart ache and eyes sting with tears?
I feel helpless. If I could be the-now-older-and-wiser me but in a young body I would become a photojournalist. I would document your pain, you who are like me and violated. I know how to help people with emotional healing but what you need is much more than I can give. You need the self-righteous bullies of the world to stop the beatings and the shooting, the emotional and physical raping. You need the bullies to stop denying you the resources to build your homes and nurture your families. You need the bullies to stop taking away your freedom to create family that is supportive and loving. You need the bullies to stop disrupting the political stability so you can nourish yourself and your family with food and books and music.
I offer this image of a symbolic flag of hope. It is my prayer that all, including the bullies, can realize that we are connected together so that what happens to one of us happens to all. When you are hurting, I hurt. That is the way it has to be. When you flourish, I can also flourish. That is the way it should be. We need to be united, reach out and hold hands, create a web of peace so we can shine in our shared community. Can we learn to live together without destroying each other and the planet? Can we put aside our self-interest and greed to take care of all? Can we work for the greater good instead of our own gain?
I don’t know how to make it happen, but I will offer you the blessing of seeing your plight and your tears, hearing your screams of pain and anger and fear, and using my words and photographs to touch your hearts. May all of us, including the bullies, find charity and healing within.