My friend, Petri Darby said it this way:

When I don’t know how I feel, or what to think, I turn to how I want to feel, and what I want to think.”

imageGreat counsel, friend. Here goes.

I want to think that violence, hate and fear do not define who we are — who I am. We are better than our worst moments.

I want to think that good outweighs evil. I believe this; but some days it is difficult to remember.

In the midst of sadness and pain, I want to believe in a peace that passes understanding. I want to believe that peace will envelop all who deal with unspeakable pain.

I want to believe in the enormity of the human heart. I want to think that our capacity to understand and empathize is far greater than the temptation to turn inward and lash out.

I refuse to feel helpless. I choose to spend my time and invest my energies seeking to be a positive voice, and seeding hope. I want to build bridges and make peace.

Tomorrow I want to believe my home, relationships and community benefited from what I brought to the table. I want to feel as though I made it through this day treating all I encountered the way I’d like to be treated…the way we wish we’d treat each other.

This is not to suggest a blind or naive eye to undeniable ills. Nor is it to infer that the solution begins by ignoring the pain — or the inevitable pains of tomorrow.

This is simply a personal reflection on one way to respond in the wake of what feels like a constant stream of events that stir anger and tap into fear. I don’t know about you…but these responses do not bring out the best in me. They do not give rise to the way I want to think.

Nor do they seem to have solved much. I want to think in a different way.