Saturday, November 28, 2015

World Gone Wild

Yesterday, a lone gunman killed three unsuspecting people, including a veteran police officer, at a Colorado Planned Parenthood.

Two weeks ago, Paris was the site of a series of terror attacks that killed 129 civilians.

On Thursday, Chicago PD released a video of the shooting death 17-year old Laquan McDonald by Officer Jason Van Dyke, which led to protests along Chicago's "Magnificent Mile" on Black Friday.

Violence, it seems, is the universal solution for addressing personal grievances (real or imagined), economic or social oppression, political differences, religious divisions, marital discord, and racial animosities.

One would have hoped that 15 years into the new millennium, we might have evolved to be more tolerant of differences (diversity) and less wedded to our prejudices and hatreds.

We are all guilty of adding to the violence pot. We all have reasons to hate. We all harbor anger toward some "Others."

In our personal lives, we find it hard to forgive, much less forget.

The bombers, the shooters, and the terrorists just take their anger to extremes.

I don't have a big solution, but I think breaking the chain of violence begins with each of us scaling back hateful rhetoric, revenge talk (even jokingly), and racial stereotyping.

Sound Utopian?

Probably, yet the alternative is to live in a world where we are more and more afraid of going to the movies, dropping our kids off at school, worshiping in church, or enjoying a music concert.

The option: continuing along the path of violence until we destroy ourselves and our planet?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Terror of Fear

I remember the first time that I realized that the world could be violent and unpredictable.

After 9-11, I was stripped of the illusion that our government could protect us from enemy attacks on our soil. 

The Boston Marathon bombing cemented that idea.

Yesterday, we learned just how ugly the world can be. Over one hundred young Parisians killed for no good reason--at least those that most civilized people can comprehend.

What is the intended message of the Bataclan concert massacre? I really do not understand how killing random citizens advances the cause of ISIS or Al Qaeda or "lone wolf" terrorists.

What I do know is that although most of us go about our daily, fairly routine lives, others with evil intent have left us expecting the worst.

It could be your city or mine--Las Vegas. We might go the the Smith Center or to see a Cirque du Soleil show and end up dead.

A frightful reality, but one that people around the world share.