By guest author Luciana Karine de Souza
When we hear about peace we typically think of wars, violence, terrorism, and such, but psychologists, philosophers, and others also pursue understanding of the factors leading to and endangering peace of mind.
I live approximately 286 km (177 miles) from the city of Santa Maria, Brazil, scene of the tragic nightclub fire that killed over 200 people in January. I know the city and I know the Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM).
Most of the victims of the fire were from UFSM. They were there in mid-summer (temperatures near 104F) because for many months last year, professors had gone on strike for better career plans and salary.
Thus many victims were in Santa Maria taking classes, studying, and preparing themselves for a future they will never have.
Should I feel relief at not knowing anyone related to this catastrophe? Should I sigh and thank the Universe that it did not affect anyone I know? Should I be thankful for life, and family, and friends, and all things good I still have, none of them affected?
For many like me, happiness at being spared does not happen. After such a tragedy, it is very, very difficult to find peace of mind. The mind “feels” strong energy waves throughout the day, waves filled of lifting souls asking why, why do we close our eyes to the need to prevent such tragedies.
For now it is very hard to find peace of mind, mostly because anyone who felt in any way connected to what happened in Santa Maria lost a piece of their hearts.
Every day around the world, people die dreadful deaths, preventable deaths, and the people touched by these deaths lose a piece of their hearts and their peace of mind.
Why do we still believe we can beat death, fire, and terror, and ignore laws and regulations, investment in prevention, safety measures, and so on? And when will we learn that all lives matter?
Luciana Karine de Souza is a full professor at Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Her teaching and research involves personality and social development in psychology, education and leisure.