An International Flag of Hope

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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.

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18 thoughts on “An International Flag of Hope

  1. Heather, You have spoken eloquently to an experience many of us share. One of my teachers used to remind me incessantly that the world is as it is and we can only do what we can. Often i forget her wise words and tumble into despair. Sometimes I remember and just do what I am able t do. Take good care.

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  2. A beautiful & real heartfelt post. Sometimes I tire of the bad news & tune it off. I don’t think it’s insensitive or being blind to it. I think it’s more for sanity sake.

    What a lovely photo for hope & peace.
    {Hugs}

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  3. well I had wet eyes while reading this one – and I am not a huge crying type – front he first sentence and then throughout – cheers for such an inspiring post Pat – and that creative take on a flag – a ten!

    “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.”

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    • Thank you so much for your very affirming comment. I took the photo several weeks ago and I knew I had to post it as a flag but hadn’t been inspired – until now.

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    • It is helping me to hear that others get overloaded, too. I think I suffer from comfort guilt. My life is very comfortable with my only stress being company that I invite for too long – and I’ve taken care of that one. :)

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