It was Thursday afternoon. I was getting ready to teach a yoga class when I received text messages from my two best friends. They both had a similar message: “x was on the flight…” The flight was MH17 that crashed in the Ukraine after it was shot by Russian separatists. I did my best to get my act together and arrived at the studio just in time for my class. With emotions stuck in my throat I couldn’t help but share this awful news with my students. Suddenly, violence on world scale had come really close.
As a yogi, I have taken on the habit to look at the bigger picture and always ask myself what I can learn from a certain situation, especially when it is a – perceived -negative one. In that light, I offered my students to see this event as an opportunity to practice Ahimsa (non-violence or compassion). Of course, it is horrible that whole families, young people in the spring of their lives, babies and famous researchers have died because of an act of terrorism (click here for a portrait of the victims). Yet, to me it is equally sad that there are people in this world who are so disturbed they shoot a missile at a civilian aircraft. Also, it is easy to point a finger at the “bad guys” and claim they are the reason we still haven’t been able to attain global peace, but what about our own individual little worlds? As long as we criticize ourselves (hello negative vibes!), get annoyed when someone takes “our spot” in the yoga studio (how is that different from defending a piece of land?), give someone the finger when they cut us off in traffic (maybe that person is in a hurry to get their mother to the hospital, who knows?) violence and negativity will keep us from experiencing peace and compassion. As per Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Clearly, there is a lot more going on in the world than the crash of flight MH17. On the same day of the crash, Israel started an offence in Gaza. This video sadly shows an accurate cartoon of why there is so much violence in the Middle East – whether it is in Israel or the Ukraine. Again, it is not just these isolated events that cause so much unrest in the world. The fact that the whole world, or so it seems, is arguing on social media and in the press about what has happened, why, by whom, and whose fault it is that [fill in the blank], only shows that something is seriously amiss.
REALLY PEOPLE, WAKE UP!! Arguing, or even just talking, about horrible events as described above is not going to make it better, let alone change the world. This only keeps spreading negativity, and is the opposite of practicing Ahimsa. The only answer to violence is LOVE!
Please, let the crash of flight MH17 – as a symbol of other violence in the world – lead to something good, so that the passengers and crew didn’t die in vain. Let’s all pray, meditate, send good vibes, or whatever it is you do, for WORLD PEACE and loving kindness amongst all people.
I just recorded the meditation for world peace that I shared in my yoga classes over the past days. Let us all spread a wave of positivity on the planet. Please click here to play to the meditation. Feel free to share with everyone you know. Thank you.
Marije E. Paternotte