World Trade Center. San Bernardino. Paris. Brussels.
These words, which once meant nothing to certain parts of the world, are now pinpoints on the global map because they all have tragedy in common.
The world responds to tragedy in different ways. Some people either turn off their television, crank the news stations louder or pick up the paper.
Some people look for ways they can help with their time or money. Some people pray.
Everyone has different ways of responding based upon their cultures, religions and proximity to the tragedy.
Some want to sit down and not be heard, while others strive to give the terrorized voiceless a fighting chance. Some play the role of the benefactor, giving every ounce of their time and money to make the world right.
We all work toward one goal when times of tragedy arise on the global stage, and that is to help and love one another.
Why is it, then, such giving, caring people turn so vicious and cruel the second someone utters a prayer for the broken?
I read a comment online shortly after the Brussels attack from a friend who does not identify with any religion. I figured it was just another statement attacking Christians and those of other religions for offering up prayers to those suffering on the other side of the world.
Instead, however, her post was something entirely different. I hope this paraphrase does it justice: A prayer is focusing on a personal, empathetic intention in your mind and extending it outward. That can change the world. Don’t be vicious and cruel to those offering prayers to a Supreme Being, interceding for the hurt and the broken. Positive energies flow from positive sources and will inspire change regardless.
It was such a humbling thought from someone that is a self-professed “nonreligious” person.
Of course time and money helps. Please don’t mistake these words as an excuse to not send help in that way. Philanthropy changes the world, too.
But when someone offers to pray for people whose hearts were shattered by tragedy, they are offering the purest form of help they can offer.
We live in a beautiful and broken world that is turning against itself. Let’s not break it any further by turning on each other.