I’ve been discussing the most recent terrorist atrocities in France in an attempt to make sense of it all. I find myself most affected by this recent attack and feel a great sorrow.

When are we ever going to create actual change? Einstein’s definition of insanity, repeating the same thing over and over again expecting different results, ringing in my ear, so many individuals wanting to blame the Muslim religion yet conveniently forgetting about the atrocities individuals of their own religions created throughout history. To say that the Muslim religion is any more violently retributive than any other is false. It just happens to be the more violently extremist today. If we react like we’ve always reacted, (through war, fire and violent punishment) we may “win” in the short run. These extremists may retire and fade away to be discussed in history books, but in another lifetime there will be another group of extremists by a different name that will repeat the same actions once again, and then what? When will it end? When will real change be the solution? We can’t continue to Band-Aid the problem when the organ needs a transplant. This is 2015, not 15, there must be a level of higher consciousness within humanity at this point?! Reacting like barbarians only fuels the barbarians themselves.

And what of the majority of individuals belonging to this religion who are peaceful people, individuals like you and me, simply wanting a better life for themselves and their families? How are they going to be affected by these acts of extreme violence? The anger they must feel toward people degrading their way of life, risking their safety in a country they gratefully moved to in order to flee that very same violence.

I was asked what my solution would be and in all honesty, I don’t know. I wish I did. The pain that the victims are feeling must be overwhelming and their desire for retribution must be rampant. The irony is that I don’t blame them, but one thing that I do know is that violence begets violence. Imprison these terrorists, they need to be detained so as not to hurt or murder anyone else, but these are severely damaged individuals who need professional help. They have been socialized to hate and brainwashed into believing that their salvation is reliant on murder. God only knows what they’ve suffered through in their own lives to come to believe that murder is any kind of solution. They are extremely damaged and need healing.

To which was said, partly in gest, “there aren’t enough prisons to house them.” My response was, “free all of the people who’ve been imprisoned for pot smoking and stealing from the corner store and burglary and there will be room.”

“Ya, but then those people will just go back to selling weed and stealing.”

“Exactly, that’s why things need to change on a grander scale. We need to stop fixing the side effects and start working on the source of the problem;

Feed the people’s bellies and they will not steal

Feed their souls and they will not harm

Shelter them and they will not pillage

Heal them and they will develop compassion

Educate them and they will live without fear

Love them and their hearts will flourish

I admit that I don’t know any Muslim people because of the fear that has been propagated on both ends. Segregation and fear mongering is the best way to keep people apart, making it easy to limit and stereotype our consciousness.

I am a humanitarian and an egalitarian and know about spirit.

The human condition is desperate for concrete definitions and black and white answers, the simpler the better, the quickest solution often overriding the necessary solution.   When in truth, these acts of terrorism are a symptom of great pain and suffering that require a grander attempt at finding the solution, which could take a very long time to achieve; but isn’t anything worth having worth that time? Imagine the possibilities of filling peoples hearts with love and compassion, imagine a world where fear and hate do not dictate one’s actions or reactions, imagine a place where humans have stopped living through power and greed and have started living through love and compassion. The wound is infected we need a metaphorical antibiotic, there is still hope, it’s not yet time to amputate. Let’s work together and change the world for the better.

Charlie Chaplin’s Greatest Speech: