Being a local paper, we focus our attention on local happenings and activities, but there are times when sites are called to news farther afield, and we feel compassion for the families of those that were murdered in the Orlando nightclub shootings, as well as the survivors. This is a human issue, not one of bias.
The shooting rampage is being called the United States' worst shooting ever, and has left 49 human beings dead and over 50 injured.
Despite personally stating that he was doing it on behalf of ISIS, some reports indicate this was fueled by personal hatred of homosexuals. Whether this speculation is true or not, both patterns of thought are expressions that DE-humanize others. From this we should say, not all Muslims are ISIS soldiers, either.
Our societies have been inundated with schools of thought, like Darwinism, Marxism, and Nietzsche-ism, and the repackaging of these into modern "isms", through the open windows of social media. This is hardly an exhaustive list, but most of these advocate the reduction of the value of an individual human being.
Yesterdays' strength, was our cohesiveness, but today's youth, and now many adults, have been raised on the fluid values of the most persistent voices on the internet. There is no culture there, except maybe, unbridled freedom of speech. But without real accountability, this escalates very quickly and very often, into the practicing of freedom of hatred. This is anarchy.
The main problem with this is it leaves the individual vacant of a moral code, and accountable only to a personal interpretation of some grandiose ideal, that is reinterpreted as morality to fill the needed void.
This is the soil in which extremists are grown. Without awareness of the incredible value of any human life, believing there is no reprisal but instead reward for such horrendous acts, a person fed on a diet of hatred is a victim as much as the ones that were harmed. Their wound has been inflicted progressively over long periods of time, in their soul or psyche, amounting to such calloused expression. Garbage in garbage out.
These communities have faced many acts of hatred and fear in the past, but they are not alone. There have been many shootings in Churches, schools, Temples and Mosques, to mention a few. NONE of us are exempt from the need to respond with radical kindness instead, radical acceptance of another human being, regardless of differences of how we view life.
The real battle to change our society, and rid it of hatred starts within each of us. I would like to challenge each of us today, to reach out to someone who is different from ourselves and commit a random act of Hope.
In the short term, arresting the individual action is what's needed, but in the long term, a return to a personal accountability to value ALL lives equally and a morality of fairness and dignity for everyone, as far as it depends on each of us, would go a long way.
Everyone deserves to be able to live a full life.
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