It is sad that lately the only time I feel compelled to write here is when something bad happens in the world. But instead of my usual rant (though I do have a bit of rant to share), maybe for a change I will have words that will ultimately bring hope and positive thoughts into the picture. We shall see.
The horror of the day is the burning alive of a soldier by the demons of the year. I know this sentence is ripe with sarcasm and seemingly a little lacking in compassion, but that is by intent. I have said it before, and I am saying it again. Terrorism is NOT caused by “terrorists”, though they might be the initial trigger. It is caused by our own reaction to what they do, especially in this day and age of instant information sharing. ISIS is a band of cowards with big sticks, and the main reason they carry such weight in the world is plain and simply because we LET them. They are nothing more than rabid animals. I am not saying that they are not dangerous. Nor am I am saying that they are not to be feared. But by having the news of their latest exploit repeated every five minutes; by sharing and re-sharing the video of them in action; by responding with any number of negative emotions … WE are the ones actually spreading their “message”. A rabid animal kills someone, it was most likely a painful death. We mourn the death, and remove the animal. We don’t post it all over the internet and make it huge news.
Why should we treat these other rabid animals any differently?
The military man died a very horrible death. Yes. He was also a military man. War means death. Quite often painfully and horribly. That is what anyone who joins the military is ultimately signing up for. The job description includes being willing to die for your country … which most likely will be a very unpleasant experience. Even his manner of death was not completely unheard of considering he was a pilot. Planes crash. Planes burn. He could have died that way under other circumstances. So frankly I find no more horror in it than ANY death from war.
I say again, the people of ISIS are basically nothing more than cowards. They hide behind masks, hide behind weapons, hide behind their own version of god, and feel strong because they can easily slaughter a restrained, severely outnumbered man who basically cannot defend himself.
And we give them the notoriety they crave simply because we actually WATCH the video they made of it.
I firmly believe the best way to combat the psychology of terrorism is to basically IGNORE it. I am not saying ignore the incident and the perpetrators. Take the rabid animals out. But ignore their intent, which is to become a threat to the world by INTENTIONALLY being rabid. They are like spoiled children throwing a tantrum. You pay attention to them, and they will just keep acting up. Ignore them, and then when they realize that they aren’t going to get anywhere, teach them the lesson they need.
If the voices of hatred can so strongly alter the current of world action, causing fear and anger and return hatred … imagine the power of voices that speak with compassion instead. Why are we so reluctant to hear THOSE words; so reluctant to let them spread HEALING instead of hatred and fear? Maybe because they are too often lone voices, voices that may speak wisdom but don’t have the strength of numbers. But on February 20th, a thousand such voices are prepared to share their words of compassion; their words of sharing, love and goodness; all at the same time. The messages will each be unique in form, but ultimately with the same intent. Their ARE alternatives to hatred and fear. And frankly they really have much more power … if we only have the courage to USE them. One voice can reach tens, hundreds, thousands … there is no limit really in this day and age. Fear and hatred only have as much power as we give it. Imagine a thousand voices sharing the power of LOVE.
Do you have the courage to hear those voices?