When we tune into the news, we constantly witness a world in conflict — senseless divisions and hatred. As we look on, we are horrified, as we witness the tensions, emotional and physical explosions that threaten our very survival. With the touch of a remote control, we travel the globe, becoming privy to various lives. All appear to be in turmoil, fighting for self-determination, shelter from persecution, or incomprehensible ideological dogma that shocks the conscience of civilized societies. We stare in sorrow and disbelief at the carnage — humanity's inhumanity to itself. When we divert our gaze or change the channel, we feel that we have shirked our moral responsibility to experience our collective human suffering.
Free will seems to be the stuff of dreams, for everywhere we turn, we are subjected to forces beyond our control, sacrificial lambs at the altar of twenty-four-hour news cycles, reporting the news "on the scene, as it happens."
Taking a deep breath, we return to ourselves, press "mute" and find our center. Suddenly, we are aware of the moment, and silently express gratitude for our personal blessings. We are alive ... but that's not enough. Guilt envelops us. How can we experience equilibrium when our world teeters on the brink of destruction? Somehow, the sun and moon are oblivious, rising and setting according to the dictates of their respective cadences. They, too, have no choice — despite the world's pain.
Words ... There are no words ... Action is of the essence. The only solution is a counterbalance to violence. Voice must be given to the humble and the just — those unsung heroes who quietly wake up in the morning and project goodness into the world. That which we focus on expands, and when we, as individuals, turn inward, reflect, and proceed in the light, that is what we create, behold, and perpetuate.
Choice rises from the ashes when each of us, in a very personal guise, can experience and proliferate VIRTUE — which must be the goal, if we are to prevail as a species. Just like rancor, virtue begets itself. Contrary to what some may believe, this is not a term of art but rather, a viable, cognizable state of being — ever as much as ignobility.
Since we relate to visuals, virtue should be commonplace and ubiquitous in our lives. A twenty-four-hour news channel devoted to acts of humanitarianism should operate as a foil to those featuring the ongoing negativity that circles our planet. Channeling peace and healing comes from the immediate experience of goodness, coming to us on the ground, "as it happens." The question, "did he or she act alone?" should refer to acts of kindness and charity, engendering the truth that we can channel the better angels of our nature and effectively transform the human narrative.
Peaceful, healing present sense impressions inspire action in kind. The alternative to division suddenly comes to the fore, and our hearts are elevated, as we become the best of ourselves. This act of virtue-pursuit and focus does not negate or ignore the negativity that characterizes the human condition; but in order to stop our plague of divisiveness in its tracks, we must choose virtue and create a new world.