MY VIEW: We all shine on in the wake of Orlando shootings

In the wake of the shooting early Sunday morning at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, I come to feel more and more that what the world needs now is, simply, love.

After the worst mass shooting in America’s modern history in combination with a hate crime, I feel disheartened.

This is now the state of things: mass shootings, politicians spewing messages of hate and intolerance while others choose to worry about the bathrooms people use. It is not just the United States, of course, and I don’t mean to focus solely on them. Canada has its share of problems. While we are working on truth and reconciliation and trying to make peace with our past, until reserves all across our vast and beautiful country have safe and clean drinking water and treaties continue to be abused, we cannot claim that we are clear of any wrong doing. It is 2016 and yet we are not as enlightened as we like to think.

In Orlando, what should have been a fun night out for 300 people at a gay club left 50 people dead and twice as many wounded. As news reports continue to reveal who the shooter was, we do know he held anti-gay sentiments, took hostages and he pledged allegiance to ISIS.

I realize that reading something in this space about the shootings may seem a bit odd – originally, I was going to write a piece on my experience at a musical I saw in Stratford recently. However, as John Lennon so aptly said, “life happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

Yes, John, it most certainly did.

While wars are waged around the world, families and communities even smaller than Waterdown are destroyed by hate, greed and in the name of religion. Let’s get something straight: God has nothing to do with this. This is about power. Absolute power. And absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Going into a night club and shooting at hundreds of innocent people in a space where they can’t escape all because of who they choose to love is an act of cowardice. Yes, I’m angry. I’m angry for my friends and family in the LGBT community and I am saddened for them. They could have been the ones in that club.

We are lucky. It is nothing short of a miracle that we live in a relatively safe country. We could be living in Syria, the Sudan, Turkey or the Middle East.

Let us stop for a moment and think about our lives and how incredibly blessed we are. Let us lift one another up with love and understanding. Ask questions and take the time to learn about those who may look different from you.

In a place like Orlando, home to the happiest place on Earth and where dreams come true, nightmares also reside.

So please, look inside yourselves and ask: Is this who I want to be?

Karma dictates that says all energy you send out into the world, you get back times three. May you send out the ever-healing positive energies of love and compassion and may Karma bless you in return.

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