Regulars and Shorts

You Decide: Terrorism and the Responsibility of Choice

By Karin Miller

When we think of terrorism—both conceptually and literally—most of us will immediately think of it as an outside, threatening force that we must protect ourselves from. It is something that happens to us, not with us and certainly not because of us… right? Well, not exactly. While we do not control the actions or thoughts of others, we do affect them with our actions and our thoughts. As isolating as it can feel to exist on a planet with so very many divergent viewpoints and ways of being, the reality is that we are all connected.

It is more than just a catchphrase, more than a bumper sticker. It’s a simple yet crucial truth: We are one. Every single life on this planet affects all life on this planet. Like the proverbial pebble thrown into a placid lake, each of our actions and ways of feeling and being with each other ripples outward into our homes, our communities, our countries and our world. Knowing and accepting this one small yet mighty truth is the first step in moving towards the kind of social responsibility that could end terrorism. With this knowledge in hand, we have the opportunity to wield perhaps the most powerful tool in our possession: choice.

Our world and our creations are the result of our choices. This can be hard to wrap one’s head around given the fact that we do not control the actions of others, but think of it like this: We create the context for everyone else’s choices. When it comes to acts of terror, how can we create a different context for those who are driven to such acts? What context exists now that serves as a trigger and how can we begin to create a more peaceful existence that diffuses rather than enflames those who feel they must act (or react) through terror?

Change Begins with Choice

We can’t flip a switch and create a different world, but we can begin to make ripples that will turn into waves if enough of us work together. It is up to us to claim responsibility for the way we walk in the world and how our actions affect others. In each and every moment, action and reaction play out, giving us new opportunities to choose. We choose how to act, and when the world responds we get to choose again. Observe the results—and the consequences—of your own actions and begin to adjust your choices to better align with the truth of your innate oneness with all that is. Each of us has the opportunity to be either an instrument of evolution or a hindrance to life’s growth potential.

Choose love, then choose love again. Together, we can change the context of the world stage, making it less viable for acts of terror. Through accountability and a commitment to work on ourselves first, we will begin to see the changes in the world that the people of our planet most crave. Peace is possible, if we choose it.

Karin Miller is an attorney and the founder of Our New Evolution (ONE) to connect and empower people and projects that are aligned with global values. She is the author of Global Values: A New Paradigm for a New World from which this is adapted. Miller will be in SLC in September for the Global Values Summit.

Global Values Summit

September 10, 2016, 9am-5pm

Hosted by and at the Inner Light Center, 4408 S. 500 East

$45 ($35 if registered by September 5)

Info and registration at or the “contact us” tab on the website

This article was originally published on August 1, 2016.