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Pairs PeaceI don’t understand. I don’t understand how anyone can believe that violence and killing will cause a shift in the world that will be positive. I do not know of any religion, faith, or belief system which has an underlying premise that violence is good and that killing people who are simply going about their daily routines is okay. I don’t understand.

The attacks in Paris today are not about religion, faith or spiritual righteousness. This is twisted ideology that has no basis in a higher power or higher understanding of the world. It makes no difference if you are a person of spiritual faith or of secular faith, you understand these acts of terrorism are wrong. They must end. As a world that depends on all of us moving forward in a collective manner, for the good of all humanity, we must understand that we need to work together to end the violence, end the terror, and end believing that we are not affected by these acts. We are.

Words cannot truly express how I feel at the moment. I am only a month out from one of the most amazing events I have ever participated in – the Parliament of World Religions. A place where 10,000 people of varying faiths with completely different understandings of the divine stood together in one place and pledged to work for peace. Today I watch the news and see that once again violence of unimaginable magnitude has ripped through the soul of humanity. What is wrong with us as a species that we haven’t figured out how to get along and let those standing next to us live in peace?

I work hard to educate others about difference. That it is only a perception created in the mind based on arbitrary ideas that didn’t even start out as our own. We are all different. There are no two people identical, not even identical twins. Each has their own quirks and thoughts that make them unique and perpetuating difference. So why is it so hard to accept others in their uniqueness? Why must people believe that the “other” is evil or that it must be eradicated? An enemy that should not be allowed to live? I don’t understand.

What I do understand is that at the moment we need to end this. We need to embrace the wounded and help them heal. That might be the person in Paris, their family member, their friend or your next door neighbor that you have never spoken to who just saw the news report. We all need to begin to make change in our life. Speak kinder words instead of those of hate. That means taking time to understand what it is we say – do we speak hate when we talk without knowing it? Possibly. Examine your words, your ideas and your actions and change what needs to be changed. Help heal those that need it and that includes the self. Actively begin to work for peace.

World peace is a big thing but it is achievable. Start in your own back yard by making peace with someone you have harsh feelings for. Making peace one step at a time will create a ripple and a change and a path for peace to grow in.

I don’t ever want to say “I don’t understand” again. I want to know that the world can be safe and I want to understand that what I give my children and grandchildren is a sense of hope.

Understand peace and create it in your world.

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