South Carolina Grief Project
Dearest lovely Byron Katie,
My name is Justin H. and I am a 26-year-old South Carolinian living abroad, currently in Mallorca, Spain teaching English. I am writing to you now in what I would call a “completely out of character” way, but after reading this morning´s news about the truly heart-breaking gun attack in the place where I grew up, I haven’t been able to focus on anything else but writing you this email.
As Mallorca is an island in the Mediterranean, normally I would be enjoying this paradise on earth, and reveling in the wonderful fact that I have distanced myself from SC, which I once believed to be such a backwards, suffocating, and unloving place to live, but I have recently come to truly SEE by doing The Work that this idea was simply the filter that I chose to see it through. I CANNOT thank you enough for bringing such clarity into my life and in such a short amount of time (I discovered you and your fabulous body of accessible ideas in another book only 2 weeks ago), and I think ALL of South Carolina deserves this same blessing. It´s our birthright, as I’ve heard you put it.
In the news today I have simply been witnessing the storm of panic…people fighting political wars in message threads…de facto discussions about the history of racism in the United States…gun control debate renewed…intrigue into profiling this young shooter…is capital punishment appropriate for him or not…is the United States a fundamentally bad place…which news sources have right on their side and which are racist…is the Governor´s response to the shooting heartfelt enough…should the Confederate flag be removed…and all I can think is THIS:
THEY ARE MISSING THE POINT TO BRING ABOUT TRUE CHANGE…Well, not all of them are missing the point…
Chris Singleton, the son of victim Sharonda Singleton, said, “So if we just love the way my mom would, then the hate won’t be anywhere close to where the love is.”
(To me, these beautiful lives are the point.)
What I´m asking Katie, as a man with limited resources and connections, and literally thousands of miles from my home (at least physically), is this: Can you help to open a dialogue among the people of South Carolina and show them your wonderful way, as you have shown me, that transcends racism, politics, violence, and FEAR. If I can catch a whiff of freedom in two weeks due to YOUR Work (OUR Work, as you may say), then I can only imagine what it can do for all the people of South Carolina and the nation in such a time of true need for its universal message. Can you help us make the way our people think as beautiful as the land the live in???
A very big request from an eternally grateful fan.
Thanks for your consideration,
* * * * * * *
After receiving this letter from Justin, I immediately invite all Certified Facilitators to specifically be available for all the people whom Justin and many of us care so deeply about. Certified Facilitators, please go to the Helpline and volunteer your time to those people wanting help through their recent tragedy. For those of you wanting help, please go here. Our facilitators are here to support you on the Helpline, free of charge.
Thank you, Justin, on behalf of everyone who understands the suffering that grief and fear can bring and on behalf of all of us at the Institute for The Work of Byron Katie, our gratitude for the invitation to serve peace.
In the interest of peace and the end of suffering,
Byron Katie and the Certified Facilitators at the Institute for The Work of Byron Katie