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No doubt some of you will have heard about the recent suicide bomber, in the city of Manchester, England.

Manchester is less than an hour away from my hometown, so it feels very close to home.

Checking the news, like I do most mornings ever so briefly, sickens me.

And I don’t just mean the atrocities going on around the world. (It’s evident we humans really know how to make hell for ourselves.)

I mean how the media absolutely revels in it. The headlines they conjure up, the photos they choose to print, and how often they repeat the same stuff over and over again.

There’s nothing like good old-fashioned fear to drive the media into a chaotic frenzy.

Here would be the place to give you an example of what I’m talking about, but I’m not going to. You can do that yourself. Simply turn on your TV, or go on any major news network’s website.

As Caroline Myss says in this great talk, “I will not pass on my suffering, but my wisdom.”

So here’s the thing: I’m of the belief that every time there has been a suicide bomber, when the news headlines reveal the amount of people who have died as a result, the number is wrong.

They haven’t included the person who killed him or herself.

The news says, “X (amount of) victims”, and they miss out the person, or the people, who blew themselves up.

Surely those who carried out the attack are also victims, in some way.

Right?

Aren’t they a victim of hate, or ignorance, or an ideology?

They were a human being, just like you and I. When they were born, they no doubt were a tremendous gift to their parents; their families celebrated their arrival, and they were loved. They grew up getting to know the world, just like we all do.

But somewhere down the line, they came into contact with an unhealthy seed.

And that seed was watered with curiosity, and spurred on by the conditions of the world. It grew roots and thorns, until finally the day came when it drew the blood not only of themselves, but of others.

Please: Do not hate them for allowing this seed to grow.

The same fertile soil could have easily grown a rose.

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If you do hate them, you will foster similar seeds in yourself, and it will ripple out into your world. You will live and breathe hate and ignorance, and it will blind you, and distort everything you see, think, and believe.

Can’t we see the effects of such seeds already, not only in the world at large but also in ourselves?

Isn’t it so much easier to hate them?

When such barbaric outbursts happen, the victims are naturally prayed for.

I’m asking you to also pray for those who committed the act, for they are also victims of the world we live in today.

I have never had a friend or family member affected by a malicious act of violence, so I do not have the experience of pushing through the kind of pain that arises as a result, but I urge us all to at least try our best to love those of us who are lost.

That’s right – love them.

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Loving them is what we need to do.

This is about you and your world. The feelings and thoughts you foster within yourself ripple out, and when they come in touch with some resistance, they will find their way back to you.

Do you want to feel love or hate?

We do have a choice, believe it or not.

Do we want to foster (and feel) anger, and therefore suffer?

Or do we want to foster love and forgiveness, and grow through the suffering?

Before you decide, here’s a tip: It’s much easier to cultivate the latter when we choose not to allow ourselves to be influenced by external forces, such as the media, Facebook etc. This means we cannot be swayed by those who have succumbed to the former.

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Blessings.
Gavin
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2 comments on “Can Terrorists Also Be Victims?

  1. Beejai says:

    I work every day with true victims. I understand how the result of their life circumstances as unwanted Syrian Refugees can create a breeding ground for a further cycle of hate and violence. But to lump a terrorist in with their true victims is also evil. Yes. we need to do all we can to rescue and prevent people from walking down that road. But if they do, it is their own choice. Tens of thousands of others grew up children of immigrants, refugees in their own right. Many of those also have felt alienated and alone in a country and culture so different from what they see in their own home. But most of those, despite the struggle do not dehumanize themselves by strapping a bomb to their chest and blowing up crowds of young girls. I would much rather applaud those who have faced insurmountable odds to still do live and chose right rather than empathize with a twisted murderer, no matter what their background and reasoning.

    1. Gavin Whyte says:

      Thank you for your comment, Beejai. I completely agree about applauding those of us who have faced, as you say, unsurmountable odds to live and chose right. What do you think makes a person not only twisted, but a murderer? I don’t expect you to know a definite answer… just your thoughts on the matter 🙂

      We might not be able to empathize with such a person until we pull up the root that led to their actions. I’m aware of the likelihood of that happening is next to nil, though.

      Still, I feel that trying to love them instead of hate them prompts healing in both parties.

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