Two days after the massacre of children in Uwalde, Texas and 12 days after the racist mass killing in Buffalo, Chenxing Han, chaplain and teacher, told a Buddhist parable.
Man shot dead with poisoned arrow, Lady Han said as she drove group of high school students will visit a Thai temple in Massachusetts.
An arrow pierces his flesh, the man demands answers. Which of arrow is it? Who fired the arrow? Which of poison this is? What are feathers on arrow, peacock or hawk?
But all these questions miss the point, the Buddha tells his disciple. the main thing is to pull out what poison arrow and heals the wound.
“We need be touched by pain of all of suffering. But it is important that this does not paralyze us,” Ms. Han said. “It makes us appreciate life, because we understand that life is very valuable, life is very short, it can be redeemed in one moment”.
Recent days have revealed an arrow stuck deep in heart of America. He was exposed in massacre of 19 elementary school children and two teachers in Uvalde, and when the action movie is soaked in White supremacy killed 10 people people at the Buffalo supermarket. The United States is a country that has learned live with mass execution after mass execution.
And there are other shooters that have entered everyday life. More than one million people died of Covid, a once unimaginable figure. Virus is the thirdleading cause of death even with availability of vaccine in one of the most advanced in medicine countries in in world. Increase in drug deaths combined with Covid has led to an increase in overall life expectancy in America in decline to a degree not seen since World War II. Police killings of unarmed black men go on for a long time past vows for reform.
Mountain of distress and paralysis over how overcome it points nation struggling over some fundamental questions: does our tolerance as a country have for such horror rose, dust off after one event before moving on to next? What value are we place in one human life?
Is the loss too great?
Since Uvalde, many Americans have gone deeper in search of answers. Rabbi Michal B. Springer, manager of clinical pastoral education at New York Presbyterian Hospital, found she returns to ancient Jew writing in The Mishnah, which says that when God started creating, God created one man.
“The teaching is that each person is so precious that the whole world contained in this man, and we must honor this man entirely,” she said. “If one person dies, everyone world dies, and if one person is saved, then the whole world saved.”
We can only appreciate life if we are willing to truly grieve, truly face in reality of suffering, she said. She quoted scripture of mourn, opening line of Psalm 13: “How long, O Lord?”
“It’s not that we don’t care. We’ve reached the limit of how how much we can cry and get sick,” she said. “And yet we must. We must appreciate every life in the whole world and be prepared to cry for what does it mean that everything world was lost”.
Instead of of grieve together and take collective action, every crisis now seems to plunge the country deeper into division and wrestling over what to do in response.
The human brain is upset death of Darling one unlike death. of people we don’t know either in crisis, grief is not our only feeling,” said Mary-Frances O’Connor, a lawyer professor of clinical psychology and psychiatry at the university of Arizona, who studies the connection between the brain and grief.
“Don’t underestimate need for property, she said. When something terrible happens people want to plug with them “in-group’, she said, where they feel they belong, which can push people further to the partisan camps.
In recent decades, Americans have lived in time of decrease in belonging, because confidence in religious organizations, community groups and institutions as a whole is shrinking. Value life and work for Healing means care outside of oneself, and oneown group, she said.
“This will require collective action,” she said. “And part of in problem we are very divided now.”
Question of jewel of life arises in a little of the hottest debate in the country, such as over abortion. Millions of Americans believe in a coup of Rowe vs Wade will add value of life. Others think it will throw away value of life of women.
American culture often prioritizes individual freedom over collective needs. But ultimately, people are born to care for others and not turn away, said the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Burgo, an Episcopal priest and teacher. of mystical theology. She was thinking on myriad crises like clouds took over spring day in Maine.
“Man is born for meaning, she said. “We have very, very big souls. We are born for generosity, we are born for compassion.”
What is worth in in way of proper assessment of life, she says, is “our very, very messy relationship with death”.
In the US, denial of death reached an extreme form, she said, as many focus on yourself to avoid fear of death.
This fear cuts through ‘all tentacles of conscience, and common good and the ability to work together,” she said, “because in in final analysis, we have become animals saving our own skins, way it seems that we are saving our own skin – this is repression and dissociation.
United States is an exception in level of gun it tolerates violence. rate and seriousness of mass shootings are unparalleled in in world outside conflict zones.
America has a “love affair” with violence,” said Phyllis Isabella Sheppard. She chairs the James Lawson Institute. for research and research of Nonviolent Movements at Vanderbilt University, for Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr., civil rights leader who was expelled from the university in 1960 for his role in sit-ins at the dinner table.
Violence is almost a normal part of life in United States, she said, and to appreciate life, you need to constantly ask how Am I committed to non-violence today? it also means to give some things up she said – a lot people count of themselves as non-violent but consume violence in entertainment.
“The question that should scare us what it takes to do us collectively achieve this change? she said.
“Maybe this is our life work,” she said. “Maybe this is our work like people.”
When Tracey K. Smith, former Poet Laureate of United States, first heard of executions in Buffalo and Uvalde, her immediate reaction was anger and fury. against “these monstrous people”. It’s easy to get caught up in that feeling, she says, and we’re even encouraged to think these are “wild exceptions.”
“But when I slow down down I understand that there is something alive in our culture, which has harmed those people,” she said. “Whatever it is, it hurts everyone of us we are all vulnerable to him, he has some of impact on us, no matter who we.”
Graduating from Harvard University on On Thursday she read a poem. It was a reflection on history the violence we are live with, and what age requires, she said. In her version of a poem she thought of her children she said, but it was also a wish for her students. So much had to do with so much in last years, get sick, take care for family members.
“I want you to survive,” she said. “I want your bodies are inviolable. I want in earth be inviolable.”
“It’s a wish or a prayer.”