It’s not about whether you own and use a gun; it’s not about the color of your skin.
It’s not about the religion you profess, or the political views you embrace.
It’s not about whether you are male, female, or transgendered.
It’s about the loss of civility, decency, kindness, courage, and thoughtfulness. Humankind does not value them as we should. We view them as weaknesses or second-tier characteristics to the ones that make us best, strongest, powerful, successful. And yet, when we find ourselves the beneficiary of kindness or thoughtfulness, we tend to be surprised or moved, because the demonstration of them is rare. That should tell us something.
We have done this to ourselves, all of us. We have fostered a culture of divisiveness. The pecking order gets stronger each day, and we do nothing to stop it. Rather than seek out what we have in common – starting with we are all human beings – we continue to widen the chasm of differences. We may not even know our actual neighbors, much less the figurative ones.
It is time to stop agonizing and start acting. We need to use our words to build bridges, not use them to wound or simply express despair, hopelessness, and frustration. Our wish for humankind, our prayers, our efforts, need to be for ALL people. Makes no difference if it is Paris or Brussels; Istanbul, Baghdad, or Medina; Orlando, Falcon Heights, Baton Rouge, or Dallas; our own town, village, or city. WE all need to make the difference, no matter where in the world we live. We need to be better people. We need to have the courage to be kind, thoughtful, decent, civil. The world already has enough people who are otherwise.
We don’t need to look for an enemy; we are our own enemy. May the loving Creator have mercy on us all.