Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
My goal of this blog is not to get political or argumentative, but sometimes, something happens that inspires me to speak more outwardly on world affairs than I normally do. Sadly, the horrific events that transpired in Paris, France this weekend are just one of those times. I am human, I share the pain in the loss of innocent lives. I also feel the threat that these terrorists (mainly ISIS) have over all of us; especially during a time like this. I am also very confused and afraid. But this time around, I am not angry. I am not angry at these heartless souls who are destined to kill anyone in their path. I am saddened that somewhere along the way society has not taught them to love or to love properly. Don’t confuse my sadness with rationalization of their motives. I just cannot feel anger towards what I feel is my own failure.
Once the news had sunk in and reactions began to spread throughout social media, I could once again sense the anger and hatred that has gripped our civilization. Once again I can feel the negative feelings rumbling about. “Let’s bomb these ISIS fuckers!”, “Let’s not let those refugees in our backyard!”, “This is all about religion and in particular: Muslims”. A lot of these thoughts are from the raw emotions that these events bring about, but I sense an underlying theme in all of them; anger filled retaliation.
Retaliating against an offensive force does seem like a natural response when you are confronted with a threat. But seriously, what does retaliation do? Since the beginning of mankind, we have always been in conflict with one another. It seems though, it is getting worse. Retaliation has snowballed. Unlike the wars from the past, we do not directly know who our enemies are. Terrorists defy all normal definitions of an enemy. These are suicide bombers with the sole mission to kill themselves and everyone around them. They are not programmed to kill soldiers or heads of state. They are programmed to kill you, me and the kid next door. They are destined to kill anyone of any age, race or gender. So tell me, how can we solve this? Is it bombing their host country Syria off the map? Is it sending more of our troops into danger of a never ending war? 15 years ago, we all thought that blowing Iraq and Afghanistan off the map, then killing Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden would end all of this. Look at how far we have come….. Does ISIS even have a face? What does ISIS even mean?
We should not be shocked that during a “war on terrorism” that the enemy is bound to fight back as they have in Paris. Wars are fought with endless battles back and forth. We bomb them and then they bomb us. This is how war works, this is the war that we all wanted, right? How on earth are we ever going to win this thing if the enemy is living among us? If the battle they wage is simply to blow themselves up in a public place, how can you fight that? Are you prepared to strap a bomb to your body and walk into their compounds and houses? We just fly by and drop missiles that are often misguided and end up killing innocent people. How are we any different than terrorists when we are in effect fighting the same battle. I think it is time we rethink our battle plan.
The solution has to be peace. Of course, my thoughts and beliefs on our response will be met with resistance. I will be considered a coward, a weakling, a pacifist. Regardless, there is no denying that those who hold a peaceful composure cannot carry out the horrific deeds that are needed to become an extremist. We must teach our children to hold a conscience of love and we must take the time to teach our children that retaliation is never the answer. It has to be instilled in all of us that while anger is a natural feeling, it is never to be confused with action. I realize that this is not a quick answer to solve terrorism, but how far has our current plan got us? After ISIS, there will be another group ready and willing to take their place. What country will we bomb then? What religious group will we target? What if they are right here at home?
I am not willing to give up striving for peace. I just think that our current method of using anger versus anger has only refueled our enemy. With our anger filled sentiments about bombing this and bombing that, picking on this religion and shunning refugees looking for some peace and quiet. Have we not become terrorists ourselves? Have we not given our enemy the power over us, just as they want so badly. How much power would they have if we simply mourned our losses and moved on. Yes, it sounds cowardly; but isn’t their acts considered the same? They want us agitated, they want us afraid, they want us feeling threatened… they want us to be angry.
I know I don’t have all the answers but at the very root of my soul, I am just so tired of being angry.
1,099 / 1,000 KMs walked | 49 / 50 blog posts | 18 / 10 books read