You might hate this post.
I’d like to begin by saying that I wholeheartedly condemn all acts of murder; whether they be designated as terrorism, domestic or international (even though these terms are misleading), government sanctioned, or any other variation that could be conjured into your mind.
Secondly, I wholeheartedly condemn the murder of uninvolved bystanders, like what happened in Boston but has happened many other places. By uninvolved bystanders I mean those who are not directly involved in, do not have any say in, and/or don’t make any decisions directly related to warfare as conducted in our modern world. These people who are so often killed, maimed, injured, (at least the majority of them, I don’t know everyone’s qualifications) have no direct involvement in any of the worldwide conflicts that are raging on the planet.
Third, it is not my intention to be mean-spirited, insensitive, prideful, spiteful, hateful, or any of their variations. My intention is to not be ignorant, insulated, unaware, or shielded but to be perceptive, empathetic, and knowledgeable. Understanding that, understand that reality is rarely sensitive, gentle, or kind.
With that said, people of Boston, I welcome you to the rest of our conflict ridden planet. Welcome to normal life for millions of people. Welcome to the world of Afghanistan, Somalia, Darfur, North and South Sudan, Pakistan, Yemen, Bahrain, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Palestine, Israel, India, Tibet, Burma, Sri Lanka, Rwanda… I hope you get my point.
The horrors that happened so recently are a dreaded possibility of everyday life for so many. Children take their lives in their hands when riding their bikes to school, men and women do so just by going to work. At the back of many minds across the globe is that today they could be in the middle of a clash of world powers. Those powers being anything from a recognized government, a recognized terrorist organization, rebel troops, or any variation thereof. It’s not as exclusive of a club as we wish, and certainly not one anyone would want to join, but there you have it, welcome. Your anguish is not exclusive to you, your anger is not unique to you, your hatred does not only belong to you. Neither do your injuries, your loss of life or limb, your loss of loved ones and friends. Your tragedy is not your own. Your tragedy is far-reaching, touching every corner of the planet we share. But you do have a huge difference, you’re new to this world.
Your windows had never been shaken by an explosion, very few of your country have had their school canceled because of a bombing or a gunman (yes, some of them have, but not nearly the majority, as in most of the other countries I’ve listed). You’re new to this grief, this agony, this pain, this hatred. You have never seen loved ones or friends disappear in smoke and fire. Again, some of you have, America has not been untouched by terror in our time. Those of you, who have, reach out to those who have not. They need you, more than ever now. You leave in the morning knowing what will happen, knowing that you’re safe, knowing. And most of the time, you’re right.
Boston… America… this struggle against evil does not simply belong to you. You are not the only nation or people to encounter it. I pray that you do not encounter it again. I can only think of one time when murder led to good, where death showed love, where tragedy was turned to triumph. I would argue that all other times, whether through wars, executions, or anything else, the evil may have been lessened, but that is a far cry from good. We could get slogged down in metaphysics if we wanted to here, but the point remains the same.
I’m not writing this post to condemn you, to taunt you, to reprimand you, to shame you. I’m writing this to say, welcome to reality. Welcome to planet at war, at war with itself, physically, mentally and spiritually. Welcome to a world that, in itself, has no hope. A world of cyclical violence, of systematic destruction, and sure disaster.
I ask you where to find hope? In government? In law? In morality? In relationship? In human nature? In WHAT?
I have a hope. A hope that sustains me in darkness, that nurtures me in light. A hope that gives me reason to live, purpose to fulfill, strength to persevere.
Many of you are probably sniggering because you think you know what my hope is.
Many of you I hope are encouraged because you do know what my hope is.
If anyone would like to know what my hope is, that which brings me life, surety of purpose (if not always path), and courage, please ask. I’m more than willing to share.
3 thoughts on “You Might Hate this Post.”
This is good Luke – I think what you’re saying is that:
We should not reduce our shock or pain? We do not want to grow tolerant; but we should reduce our selfishness and closed-mindedness; arrogance.
Luke – maybe you can suggest some ways that we can move forward in joining the rest of the war victimized world – Should we become more justice oriented and seek out ways to put an end – Should we think and pray for other countries and their loved ones more often? Should this inspire us to…….
I honestly don’t know what the best way to deal with terrorism is. I don’t think that the shock and pain should ever be minimized. And I’ll never say that terrorism is a good thing, not ever. However, I hope that America will use this to gain perspective, to move outside it’s own ideological borders. Throwing around phrases like the “War on Terror” and “pursuing justice” are all fine and good, but there is so much out there that Americans are either incapable of understanding or refuse to take into account, simply because they’ve never had to experience it.
My suggestion is that people get out of the US. Travel and experience the world outside of tourism. Tourism has an awful way of making us feel like we understand what the world is like while never having a real experience of what happens in the lives of other people. I’m no expert, but I can’t unsee, unsmell, unhear, the things that I’ve heard in places like Kabul, even if I wanted to. I want others to know 1. They’re not the only one’s who experience this and 2. they’re not alone in this, for better or worse.
Tragedy has to be met head on but not dwelt on. It has to be remembered but not feared. I don’t know the best way to do this, but I hope that people can begin to look at these things in a personal way. Not just something that’s showing up on their TV or radio that they can tune out.
Luke, I think that’s the best suggestion you could give. We really don’t understand the rest of the world until we’ve been there, long enough to be beyond tourism. I agree.