I am going to go ahead and guess that pretty much every writer/blogger/journalist is sharing something about the events that took place in Boston yesterday. I know that the majority of people are sad, and sacred. People are angry and want answers. I know that for me, when things like this happen – I am genuinely torn between sadness and anger.
I allowed myself to be sad and angry yesterday. I took the time to mourn those who were killed or injured, and always my deepest regrets and condolences go out to everyone who was there. The runners, spectators, officials, first responders, and everyone in our country who is grieving. I even have some compassion for the person or people responsible for this atrocity. It is a true act of desperation to kill indiscriminately and to be in that state of desperation so long that someone feels the only way to make people listen or care is through violence is a sad place for any person to endure for too long.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not a sympathizer. When we find the people responsible I want swift and devastating justice. What I want most of all though is to live in a world where people become so desperate, so angry, and so apathetic that creating fear and killing people isn’t a reasonable option. We aren’t going to get to that place by following the path we are on. Terrorism works for a reason. Fear. Fear divides us and weakens us. Fear makes us do things we would never normally do. Fear makes us irrational. To create fear in a populace is the most effective way to tear it down.
We have become a fearful nation, and that is what makes us a target. We have become a nation of responders, and not a nation of prevention. There is a lot of rhetoric about prevention of violence, securing our borders, cracking down on crime, gun control all that rhetoric is thrown around to KEEP US AFRAID. If you look around at all the arguments and all the division in our country right now – we can narrow down every argument to fear. Are you afraid of losing your rights? Are you afraid of more violence? Are you afraid of people who don’t believe like you? Are you afraid of our government? Are you afraid of your neighbors? Are you afraid of other countries trying to take over? Are you afraid of dictators in other countries making threats? Find your fear, find what it is that you are afraid of and work toward a solution.
You see, I believe that it isn’t our government or elected leaders that are responsible for “fixing” this problem. They can’t do anything without US. Without people there would be no country. Without people there would be no government. Without people there would be no corporations. Without people there would be no violence. As people, we are going to have different reactions to events like this. We are going to find a way to make sense of it all. We want someone to blame. We want answers. The only problem is that we are unwilling to look in the mirror and blame the person staring back at us. We are a society where everything happens TO us, and are completely unwilling or unable to see our own part in the decline of our country, our security, and our own lives.
People also seem to forget that we are a country at war. To think that a war won’t ever find its way through our borders is ridiculous. All the Muslim hate is driving me nuts. We are at war with a predominately Muslim country. If the bombings yesterday were in fact done by the scary brown people – how can we blame them? We are at war with them in their homeland and we kill their people everyday. Just because our terrorists wear uniforms doesn’t mean that we aren’t killing innocent people. What a hypocritical stance to take that it is okay for us to invade their countries and kill indiscriminately but it isn’t okay for them to retaliate. That is what war is. It doesn’t matter who started it – what matters is who ends it. Were the events in Boston yesterday enough for you to care enough to end these wars? Are you mad enough to try and make change happen? Or will we just live in fear and let our government dictate to us what is worth killing over? Will you sit at home behind your computers and fling racial slurs and fear at every opportunity, in every comment thread? Will you attack your fellow citizens who hold different views than you? Are you sitting there coming up with conspiracy theories about what the TRUTH is?
The truth is simple really. Whoever placed those bombs in Boston yesterday won. They got their point across and they managed to do exactly what they set out to do because we LET THEM. We are now all sitting around scared, we are fearful, we are divided. Our focus has been effectively shifted, and we have been effectively divided.
United We Stand. Divided We Fall.
We are falling. It is time to unite as one nation. Unless we can manage that, Boston isn’t going to be the last attack – it is merely just another pointless battle that was lost because we are too divided and fearful to stand together to stop it. Complacency kills. When a country wages war (domestic or abroad)- they shouldn’t be surprised when they have casualties. Don’t be surprised don’t be fearful, don’t be apathetic. Be a patriot. Be a part of the solution and not the problem. Stand up to your fears and attack them first, then move on the the fears of your friends and neighbors. FOX, NBC, CNN… they are’t going to give you answers. They aren’t going to give you solutions. They are owned by people with various views and beliefs and what the broadcast reflects those views and beliefs.If you want to live in fear – believe everything they say. If you are tired of living that way – start by looking in the mirror and define your own values. Look for your own solutions and then advocate to make them a reality. If we take away the ability for people to dictate to us how we should feel – we take away the power of fear they hold over us.
We must demand better. We must become one voice. We must define our fears and take control. We must on the most basic level be willing to take action beyond yelling and screaming and blaming. Until we can all agree and stand up for our nations true values; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – we can’t really complain too much when people try to strip that from us. We try to strip that from each other because of beliefs and fears. Until we stop fighting each other, attackers of any ilk will exploit our weakness and they will win. We don’t even need terrorists or bombs we do it to ourselves everyday.
Demand better. Demand more. Demand peace. Demand change. We the people CAN make a difference. We CAN stem the tide of violence. We CAN make our lives better. All we have to do is demand those things from ourselves first. Trust me – if we start by looking at ourselves and take the time to truly understand why we feel the way we do – we will find that we aren’t so divided as we have been led to believe. We aren’t so far apart on issues when we strip away the rhetoric that is fed to us.
Please America. Demand better.