We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are. Anais Nin
The world has seen too much violence in the past weeks. There’s been too much hate-speak. There’s been too little good news, two few moments of people doing kind things for others.
In the past couple of weeks, ISIS targeted Muslims celebrating Ramadan, the month of peace, introspection and renewing the faith. They did so in the name of hatred, of jihad, perverting one of the world’s four great religions for their own vicious needs. Killings, both individual and mass, took place all over the Middle East, in the United States, Malaysia, Indonesia, Europe.
An ISIS-inspired wannabe killed in Orlando, striking a gay, Latino nightclub at the start of Gay Pride week. Access to military-grade weapons upped the body count to an astonishing 49 killed in the name of what? He left traces of his hatred, but it’s almost as if he hated himself more.
In one week here in the States, two black men died when white police shot and killed them. One black man was stopped outside a convenience store, wrestled to the ground by two uniformed officers and shot at point-blank range four times. After he was dead, an officer retrieved a gun from the man’s pocket. Toward the end of the week, a black couple was pulled over for a broken taillight. The man ended up dead, shot four times by an officer while the man was seatbelted into the passenger seat of a car, his girlfriend at the wheel, her child in the back. Both were captured on cellphone video.
To cap off the week, a peaceful protest in Dallas was disrupted by a black sniper who wanted to kill black cops. The protest was for “Black Lives Matter,” which many saw as anti-police. The police were on duty to protect the marchers. When the sniper struck, the police ran towards the area where shots were fired, the marchers fled to the rear where they would be safe. Five police killed, seven injured, one sniper dead.
When is this going to stop? It’s clear to me that we cannot legislate our way to peaceful co-existence. If, as Anais Nin wrote, we see things as WE are, then isn’t it time to see peace in ourselves? Isn’t it time to speak to strangers in a friendly way, to try to learn about them? Isn’t it time we all try to get along?
Our mourner-in-chief has had to comfort too many families, too many communities, too many countries besieged by terror. It’s time to stop. Change begins inside each of us. Are you up to the challenge to get to know one person tomorrow whom you’ve never talked with before?