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“No more hurting people. Peace.”

Here was a lesson that Martin Richard, the wise 8-year old, had already learned: If you can, bring joy and love to humanity. If you cannot, and you can, at least cause no harm.
Richard Family, from Telegraph.

Richard Family, from Telegraph.

My thoughts and prayers go out to this family, the Richard family.
They have lost their beautiful son, Martin, in the Boston explosion yesterday.
The mom and their daughter are also injured.

Here was the father’s response:

“My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston.
My wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries.
We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met, for their thoughts and prayers.
I ask that you continue to pray for my family as we remember Martin.
We also ask for your patience and for privacy as we work to simultaneously grieve and recover.”

May no parent ever have to write these words. Anywhere.

I keep looking at the words of the son, Martin, which he inscribed on the board he was holding:”

No more hurting people. Peace.

Is that not the very essence of all religious traditions?
Are we not here to alleviate suffering?

The Prophet Muhammad taught us:  “The believers, in their love, mutual kindness, and close ties, are like one body; when any part complains, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever.”

This is our response, as one human community:    the suffering of others is our own suffering.
Our suffering is connected because our humanity is shared.
We are caught up in this woven pattern of humanity together.

If you can, bring joy and love to humanity.
If you cannot—and you can—at least cause no harm.

Many religious traditions teach us about the urgency of love and compassion.
We also would seem to do well by starting with suffering:     alleviate the suffering of all.

That lesson is one that the beautiful 8-year- old boy, Richard Martin, had already learned.
What better way to honor him than by learning the lesson he had to teach.

One very moving tribute to Richard came from the parents of Trayvon Martin, the Florida young man killed last year.  Trayvon’s parents reached out to the Richard family in compassion and grief:

Our hearts are broken over the tragedy in Boston yesterday. Our family sends our sincerest condolences to all of those who have been affected by this terrible situation.  We especially would like to send a message to the family of eight-year-old, Martin Richard.  We have come to understand that the peace sign that Martin is holding in a photo being circulated throughout the media, was created in response to a lesson by his teacher about the death of our son and the issue of violence. From our family to yours’, we are praying for you, thinking about you and will remember your son for the rest of our lives.

~Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin

Trayvon,    Richard,   these are all our children, who shine the light on the path we have to walk down.
Either we will learn to follow their wisdom together, or we will perish like fools together.

Christ taught us:   a little child shall lead them.
No more hurting people.

Peace to you, Martin.
Peace to you, as you go back to God.
Peace to your wounded family, and prayers for healing.
Peace to humanity.

Inna lilah wa inna ilayhi raji’un.
We all come from God,
and we are in every breath returning to God.


Image of the family is from the Telegraph.

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