There are so many issues in this world. Every where you turn there is a cause to join, a group to rally against and an issue that moves you. There are countless horrors in this world to care about. You may care about them all… Politics, terrorists, bigotry, LGBTQ, education, social services, crimes against humanity, refugees, religion, animal rights, police brutality, gun control, mental health, climate change…. The list is long, sad and truly overwhelming. You can easily get angry at those who care only about one issue and seem numb to others. Feeling sympathy, sorrow and anger about what happened in Paris is natural. I do. Someone challenged my feelings about this because just one days earlier in Beirut were over 40 people were killed by suicide bombers. ISIS took ‘credit’. Earlier in the year a school in Kenya was stormed by Islamic terrorists and 147 college students were killed. Where was my Facebook post saying ‘We are Kenya’, ‘We are Lebanon’…or my profile pictures being changed to the Kenyan flag. That is a good question. CNN did have a story on the tragedy in Kenya on their webpage about the horrific event and it probably was on the news. It happened last April.
When this person questioned my feelings I felt confused. Part of my confusion was that I didn’t even know about the Kenyan event. I do watch the news and am on social media daily but there was not a whisper. At least not one that caught my attention. Why? I can only guess that those people in Paris are us… They look like us, they live like us… And whether or not it is true, to Americans and many Europeans those people in Kenya are not us…. How sad. But being angry about this perception or constantly bringing up the historic reasons this all is happening does not help. It only further divides us.
I asked this person what we should do. He of course didn’t have an answer…. Because, although he didn’t realize it, he was already doing it… He opened my eyes….
As a world that s what we all need to do. It is our obligation to humanity and to all life. Life is precious, all people need to be treated with compassion, they need to feel safe, and they need the world to stand with them. All people. Only when we begin to open our eyes to how each of these issues affect humanity will we move towards a solution. Teach tolerance, love and respect those who are different, cherish life…. That is your action… Walk the walk and be the change you want to see in the world.