Saturday, January 8, 2011

Another Face of Terrorism

A friend of mine skyped me the other day: “I don’t want to stay longer in the US. You guys have people who go into schools and shoot up students and principles?!” He was visiting from Australia. That made me pause. I thought about Columbine. I thought about my high school experience when a former student came back and held up the senior Humanities class for the whole day before the some male students jumped him when he was careless and ended the situation bloodlessly. I could only reply, “Yeah, we do.” His next comment took me back a bit, “So the days of innocence in the US were only in the 60s and 70s, huh?”

What had happened to our country? I don’t want to list a bunch of examples, but if we look back in history, right after World War II, it seems like the US involvement in wars and spy games have escalated since then. I’m no expert, but it seems that way to me. And then I read today in the news about the shooting of a federal judge, a Congresswoman, the killing six others and wounding more. How horrible is this? This is terrorism. When we bring violence to another being, instilling fear in them, that’s terrorism. Then there are people, respectable people, pundits and politicians, who espouse violence on other human beings – that’s also terrorism, inciting violence and harm. How can anyone condone such behavior, especially from public figures? Where is the outcry? It doesn’t matter which party we belong to, inciting violence should not be supported or tolerated.

We are all human beings. All of us are trying our best to live our lives and make a difference somehow to the lives of others, be it our friends, neighbors, constituents, or the entire nation or the world. I believe all of us have an innate desire to help, to make others happy, to bring goodness to the world in some form or shape. It’s the duty of politicians, religious figures, and public entities to guide and provide role models for the right way to live. Inciting violence, spewing hatred, calling for the assassination or the torture of another human being is utterly unacceptable. That’s terrorism.

I read somewhere once: victims of violence or wars actually go to a better place after their death. The people who commit those violent acts are the ones who will suffer their own private hell because their conscience cannot forgive them. Because what they have done is totally against the core value, the intrinsic nature, of humankind or any “kind.” It’s against the universal law of love. I still haven’t quite grasped it yet, but it makes sense to me. Notwithstanding, we should never condone or tolerate any kind of violence, even with spoken words, against anyone. The trauma of the violence, the suffering, the anguish -- they leave an indelible mark on a soul, something we can't ever forget. Why inflict that upon another being?

My prayers go out to the victims and their families. May God bless them.

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