Stories of violence. Steps of love…

For every story of violence, let’s take a baby step of love…

Waking up in a hotel room,
Somewhere in east Africa.
Chilled morning breeze across the mountains,
Bringing the news of lost humanity.
200 girls kidnapped on the name of religion,
47 students killed for claiming their right for land,
11 journalist in jail for free speech,
More that half the people I see around
Live in extreme poverty.

This is my world too…
My mother was born here 3 million years ago,
My ancestors hunted here,
And their wisdom lives in every cell of mine.
My friend studied in the same college where others were killed…
I am afraid why he is not responding to my messages.

What makes a human so desparate to kill another?
What is the world that we are cocreating for our children?

Feeling deep sadness
Tears overwhelming in my eyes
Fire beneath them
Now settling into heavy warm breath…

I close my eyes in meditation..
Pictures of violence run in my mind
Like a mute movie
Camera zooms on the victim just before he lost his life
Camera zooms on the prosecutor just before he saw a life lost
Both fearful, both shocked, both seeking forgiveness…
One dies. Other is destroyed
One falls on ground. Other falls in his own eyes
Both are helpless characters of the same script
That is unconsciously being written by you and me…

Camera zooms on the witness
Fearful, helpless, shocked eyes
I see my face
Sound of Tibetan bell ringing…
Compassion wells up from depths of my heart
Words break open from my mouth…
May all beings be peaceful, be liberated, be healed…

Suddenly, I see image of Vaishno Devi
Mountain goddess from India
I pray to her to liberate the 200 kidnapped girls
And liberate their kidnappers from their hatred and fear…

I then wake up to go to work
With deep commitment to move every stone possible
To restore humanity
In this region and in every heart around the world

For every story of violence
Let’s take million baby steps of love…

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8 thoughts on “Stories of violence. Steps of love…

  1. Manish – You are a time spirit voicing on behalf of the helpless intelligentia the emotions when we listen to the news and stories of tragedy, envy and paranoia. Equally impotent is the United Nations offices sitting in the ivory towers of Washington DC. I was moved and continue to be the helpless minority looking out for justice of a kind I myself fail to uphold.
    Yesterday a drunken driver mauled over 11 pedestrians wih his truck near my village, 2 have been cremated by now and nine are in intensive care. The news is that he was angry with his owner who did not pay his wages on time and the driver was cursing why he lived in such an undignified India. Such silent sob stories abound and makes our heart bleed, like what you do in your poem.
    I am wondering – what really matters to Humans – does it matter to GODs and GODDESSEs ?

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    • Dear Vasu, thanks for sharing a powerful story that makes me wonder… who is really responsible… the truck driver, his owner, market, we… why do innocents have to suffer? I guess we all are the part of this violence… we all seek forgiveness and healing… Thanks for resonating and deepening my experience.

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  2. I only eagerly look for updates on 200 girls to be released. Walking on that very land, moving through your heart when you share these poetic lines, i go between hopelessness and hope (in the mountain goddess). HUmanity is about inherent good ness in humans. By quirk of events hatred, vengence and violence catch hold of humans and they cease to be humans in those times. I still cry where is fairness? Where is justice? I hope may be all those tiny actions from all of our heart of forgiving, healing, compassion one day moves towards a tipping point and we move towards a world of peace, justice, compassion and love in the place of violence.

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    • Dear Bhanu, I walk with you in your hope of “tiny actions from all of our heart of forgiving, healing, compassion one day moves towards a tipping point and we move towards a world of peace, justice, compassion and love in the place of violence”. Yes being in same land felt very real and vulnerable in my body. Thanks for your beautiful words…

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