When tragedy occurs, it seems we must hurry to find someone or something to blame, removing our own guilt and complicity, our responsibility for response, by pointing outside ourselves. What else are we to do with our anger and fear, but place it at a safe distance?
Unfortunately, and all too often, othering is what created the space for tragedy, in the first place – or, at least, what placed the most vulnerable where they will take the brunt of the impact.
Can we learn to respond first with compassion? Can we learn, when we must blame, to blame the othering, and not the other? Can we learn to see – within our very selves – both the victim and the perpetrator, as scary and disgusting as that may be?
Oh, Holy One, help us to learn to love all ‘others’ as ourselves – as, indeed, they are.