I recently learned about Ho'oponopono. It is a tradition in Hawaiian spirituality that was used by Dr. Ihaliakaler Han Len an Psychotherapist at the Hawaii State Hospital ward that housed the criminally insane.
Prior to Dr. Len's arrival to the ward psychologists quit on a regular basis, staff called in sick regularly or simply did not show up. After a few months of Dr. Len implementing ho'oponopono the ward transformed. Patients that had to be shackled were being allowed to walk free. Others who had to be heavily medicated were getting off medication and the staff was sticking around. What was even more amazing was the fact that Dr. Len never saw the patients only their charts.
When reviewing the charts Dr. Len says "I was simply healing the part of me that created them." Through prayer and blessings, Dr. Len looked within to heal the fear, anger and violence in his own heart a process called ho'oponopono. This may be difficult to accept but Dr. Len was not alone. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
We humans posses the gift of free will. It is each individual who must choose the course of darkness or light, but it's impact is felt by all. In times of unspeakable sadness our hearts rise to the occasion. Our armor is cracked open by the compassion we feel for those in horrendous pain. We are bound together. But the question remains, what can we do?
I humbly suggest that as time goes on and the sharp searing pain begins to heal let us honor those victims by keeping our hearts open and compassion flowing. When we see that stranger who we know felt the same pain in this darkest of nights offer a smile, do a kind act. In the words of Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl "Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."