Thursday, March 24, 2016

Responding to terror: Belgium, Ankara, Nigeria...

This March alone, there have been attacks in eight countries. Brussels is the one currently getting major media attention.

I don't like hatred. It erodes my sense of well being. It robs me of joy. It ridicules peace.

If left unattended, hatred develops enemies. It intentionally misinforms until fellow humans are mutated into monsters. It stigmatizes others and portrays stereotypes as truth.

A community governed by hatred will be a place where no one feels safe. It will be a place where laughter is silenced. I don't want to live in such a place. Yet such places are silently being developed.

Subtle reactions to events like the bombings in Brussels build and accumulate. Safety feels threatened and hatred begins to nest. Anger and revenge is directed at strangers. Soon fear is used as political platforms; hatred is nurtured. Discrimination is justified as protection; hatred is given flight.

I yearn for a world where one's own life and the lives of others are treasured. I long for communities governed by love and empathy, where safety is maintained by a commitment of well being for all.

To ensure such communities, each person must work to cut off that which gives birth to hatred. Violence of any sort must be discouraged, whether that is in schoolyard play or sports arena competition. Stereotypes must be questioned by truth. Friendships must be developed with strangers. And respect for one another must accompany disagreement.

Such communities are possible. Such communities are needed in a world giving into the forces of hate.

May we all determine to feed tolerance and understanding. May we be committed to developing new friendships and destroying old feuds and misunderstandings.

This is the place we all want to live. This is the place we should all strive to create.


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