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The Power of One

I believe this troubled time calls on us to open our minds and hearts to the innumerable connections we share with others -- in our families, communities, social systems, and on our planet -- and strive to understand what it means to be human now.
04/22/2013 03:13pm ET | Updated June 22, 2013
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BOSTON, MA - APRIL 17: A woman looks at a street memorial near the scene of twin bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 17, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. The explosions, which occurred near the finish line of the 116-year-old Boston race on April 15, resulted in the deaths of three people with more than 170 others injured. Security has been heightened across the nation as the search continues for the person or people behind the bombings. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

One allegedly violent 19-year-old boy pretty much shut down our fine city of Boston last Friday. Not to mention the terrible damage he and another are believed to have wrought on innocent lives near the marathon finish line on Monday. Now four young people are dead and scores injured as result of the bombing suspects' actions. Why? Will we ever really know? As authorities are working to get to the bottom of this, and prevent similar possible future crimes, let's together strive to get to root causes and origins of our violent society and era, and genuinely do something about it.

As our city and surrounding suburban towns were in lockdown, forcing us to hide in our homes and stay off the streets, while the suspect(s) were intensely pursued, I was praying, meditating, counseling people, and holding the victims in my heart. This lockdown is something I have never experienced in this lifetime, even in the Indo-Pakistani War -- with blackouts every night -- or when I lived in India under Indira Gandhi's national state of emergency.

What can be learned from this moment? I believe this troubled time calls on us to open our minds and hearts to the innumerable connections we share with others -- in our families, communities, social systems, and on our planet -- and strive to understand what it means to be human now, and why it's imperative that we concern ourselves with the well-being of all others.

The power of one is inconceivable; let's harness this strength and energy by empowering ourselves and each other to assume the high road of altruism, peacemaking, collaboration and lovingkindness in action. We are all first responders for someone. Let's remember the power of one.

Homage to the Buddha sitting in your seat.

Don't overlook her.

For more by Lama Surya Das, click here.

For more on wisdom, click here.