Choice, Freedom, and Death

Reflecting on the massacre in Nice, France during the celebrations of Bastille Day:

Sometimes I ponder on whether consciousness is actually evolving, and if so why humanity does not exhibit greater signs of this. Then I remember that in the wisdom teachings it’s written something to the effect that, “the more light, the more love and peace is achieved, the greater the forces of darkness to hold on to what is fearful, controlling and dis-respectful to human life.”

Even though for the past 10 months I have lived in three different countries, I can’t stop thinking of the fact that I have never been aware of so many terroristic attacks in such a short period of time. It is not that they do not happen all over the world every minute, but being primarily in Europe one becomes more easily aware of the closeness of everything, of the concept that it is happening “in your back yard.”

I was in Nice, France during last November’s Paris massacre, and in Athens, Greece during this past winter chaos of the refugee influx and crisis generated from the shutting down of the northern borders, while at the same time in March we had the bombing attacks in Brussels Airport and the bi-monthly almost suicide explosions in nearby Turkey. WTF.

Yesterday’s tragedy in Nice during the national festivities had a different effect on me. For one, I was there a few months back, living and walking on that same beach front every other day. Two, I realized that I know many people who live there who could have been in that area at that time, who perhaps were indeed.

Le Promenade des Anglais and the specific street-length portion of where the incident took place is not a large area. And if you consider that even off-season this is one of the most populated spots on the beach front during any time of the day, it is not difficult to get overwhelmed by the reality of the situation.

The bottom line is that I realized again how fragile the balance of everyday life has become. Even the notion of freedom, at its most simple form of walking, for example,  on a beach front on a summer evening. It is not about fatalism or depression. It is about observing and realizing the importance of our choices, how we choose to live daily, what we postpone for tomorrow when it is something we’d love to do today, and the people we embrace and choose to be with.

With every challenge and every crisis, there is always a re-organization in our thinking process and priorities. As human beings, it seems that we always have to be provoked in order to do that, and more often than not with life threatening circumstances.

I just wish that we would seek this re-orientation before we experience the crisis, before we reach our limits. That we would realize the role we each play in this world, how important it is, and that we are the ones responsible for our thinking-feeling-acting.

Perhaps in that way we would create more positive role-models, which seem non-existent in many communities, and start effecting goodness and harmony which in turn would create a shift in mass consciousness.

But this shift,  which is not anymore a wishful futuristic statement,  has to start from somewhere, now, urgently. And it can only start by each one of us, with a personal choice first, as we seek those who make similar choices to be together in community and cooperation.

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