The 69th anniversary of Hiroshima. My newsfeed on Facebook is filled with posts denouncing the tragedy of that day. A tragic day, indeed, but also one that brings up severely mixed feelings for me. My maternal grandmother was a prisoner of war (held by the Japanese) during World War II in her homeland of Indonesia, and had the bombs not been dropped, my family can only wonder how much longer she would have been held, and whether she might have survived. It can be heavy for me sometimes to know that perhaps I might not be here had this horrific act not occurred when it did. When I spoke to my grandmother on Friday (for her 91st birthday), she told me how hard it as for her to know that so much hate and war fill our planet. Mentions of war and hostility are all around these days, from the situation in Israel, to neighboring countries in the Middle East, and across the Russian/Ukrainian border. Beyond that, so many people I encounter are at war with themselves – caught up in cycles of suffering that stem from anger, jealousy, unworthiness and other strong emotions.
My wish for today, as we mark the anniversary of one of the world’s most tragic days is for everyone who reads this to root a little more deeply into a place of peace. Maybe it means being more compassionate with yourself. Maybe this means choosing not to share divisive articles about the Israeli/Palestinian showdown that make broad generalizations about groups of human beings. Maybe it’s just telling someone you love them or offering a smile to a stranger. Whatever it is for you, I hope you’ll feel peace and be at peace.