Getting good out of sadness

To the editor:

The people of Paris who gathered around Notre Dame as it burned were singing together in harmony; their shared grief overcame their intense political divisions.

Around the world, if we can hold sadness in our hearts for a while, some great good might come from the disaster.

Grief all too often, morphs into anger and revenge, especially if we find a scapegoat. This process is exacerbated by instant communication because we are easily manipulated in the immediate aftermath of tragedy. Wisdom takes time.

The burning of Notre Dame offers us the experience of collective sadness. We can sit with our grief for a while and remember how good it feels to be together.

The fire occurred at the beginning of Holy Week, a time when we honor the man who taught us to love our enemies. One of our greatest enemies is the darkness that resides in each one of us.

Recognizing our shortcomings and failures is the first step toward redemption and wholeness. Also, when we experience remorse, we are less likely to judge others harshly for their mistakes.

Carolyn C. Peterson