Listening to the news this morning, an NPR reporter was trailing around Paris with a French interpreter, trolling the streets near the concert hall where the terror broke.
My longest career has been in the news media, albeit as a freelance journalist mostly writing happy feature stories and personal essays. Still, as a bona fide proud member of the news media, it struck me in the face this morning that news, by definition, is old. It’s not new. It already happened.
Yes, the bombs go off and the guns fire, and journalists race to cover it.
“Self-centeredness is the cause of human suffering and sorrow,” writes Swami A. Parthasarathy in Governing Business & Relationships.
The perpetrators of acts of terror and cataclysmic attacks think only of what they want, of their own salvation, they invoke God’s name before pulling the pin out of the grenade and while they may die in the effort, they believe their end will be salvation.
They are not, in any way, altruistic.
They are hopelessly fundamental.
And they are scared.
People who proclaim that they have it right and everyone else is wrong and must be destroyed are fragile, misguided people. They need the support of the masses to feel confidence in their own stance.
They do not have the courage to stand alone and embrace the idea that maybe they have it right, and maybe they have it wrong.
Anyway, back to the news: we write the stories of things that have passed. We look back in order to understand where we stand.
But really, where we stand is forward-facing. We look ahead, our gaze trained on possibility, on tomorrow’s sunrise, on the prediction that today’s temperature will rise to 62 degrees.
We aren’t looking behind us.
In The Calendar of the Soul, Rudolf Steiner wrote of this week (Nov. 10-16) the following:
“I feel my own force, bearing fruit
And gaining strength to give me to the world.
My inmost being I feel charged with power
To turn with clearer insight
Toward the weaving of life’s destiny.”
A week from today, I will board a plane with my three precious children and take to the clouds on our way to visit our Holy Land of Israel. We will step out of ordinary life and step into destiny, as we commune with our ancestors while also recognizing the veracity in the holy ground beneath our feet as shared by so many communities for millennia.
Next Friday, before the sun sets to invite the Sabbath in to Jerusalem, we will walk through the Old City, touring “Jerusalem of Three Religions,” for there, on that holy ground, Judaism, Christianity and Islam hold hands.
We may fight over territory and belief, over truth and light, but ultimately, we share the same roots. Our stories interweave with related characters and shared battles.
If only we could remember that in our darkest hours.