After each mass killing either here or abroad we hear a lot of people talking about how this could have been adverted, how we could have prevented this type of tragedies. Or they start to ask questions on what we can do to prevent these types of tragedies.
What people completely fail to look at is that the world has changed radically and we are only going to see more and more of these types of tragedies. No amount of legislation will overcome the world wide trend of more people crowding into a small planet. Even with sufficient resources for all these people, which we do not have, there will always be pressure with the crowds and some people will crack under that pressure. It is a function of physics and biology that cannot be denied.
Some people will claim we could outlaw the guns used in such killings, but they fail to recognize that guns are outlawed in China and they have these mass killings with knives. China is more of police state then the U.S. and they cannot stop these kinds of tragedies.
Can we avoid these tragedies by avoiding the pressure cookers of big cities? Santa Barbara, CA and Newtown, CT are not consider to be pressure cookers like like LA or NY so people can reasonably think that these would be the last places one would expect these types of tragedies to occur. But they did occur there and they will start to occur at many more such places in the future.
So what is an intelligent person to do?
The first and foremost thing to remember is that we have to take care of ourselves first, which means that we have to remain calm and centered so that we can have the clarity of mind that will enable us to see the best course of action. This calm or blessed state as Jesus called it is not something one ‘chooses’ in the moment but one that comes with practice. Mindfulness and meditation is just such a practice.
Disaster or tragedy may befall any of us in this modern world but those who can remain calm and collected have a better chance of survival than those prone to reacting emotionally to dramatic events. This capacity to remain calm and collected does not come easy; you cannot take a pill for it. Practice is the only way we know of today to acquire the skill necessary to manage OURSELVES when crisis comes.
Mindfulness and meditation is the practice of developing mastery over our bodies and our minds that so that we can be the master over ourselves instead of external situations or people controlling or manipulating us.
It is also worth noting that those who perpetuate these types of tragedies are NOT meditators, so that teaching mindfulness and meditation to everyone would help diminish the number and severity of such crimes. We can each do our part by first “removing the log from our own eye” and learning how to use mindfulness and meditation in our own lives. Then we can help others by sharing what we have found and demonstrating the advantages we have found from such self-mastery.