I’ve spent the day alternating between being okay and screaming. How do I find the words to express to all the families and friends of those who were slaughtered last night? How do I rise above when all around me others are suffering? How do I act? What can I do? I suppose I could pray, but prayers are too seldom answered when it comes to this senseless act and all others like it. I suppose it can bring solace to some. I find it leaves me cold. And I think the reason is because I want answers. I want to understand something that is fundamentally incomprehensible. What drives this sort of insanity? What makes someone decide this is a viable course of action? And I don’t mean that it is terrorism that drives it. We can label it as one thing or another but that does not mean we know what the label means. We don’t know, and it’s making me crazy.
What sort of suffering, what sort of programming, what sort of environment, what sort of insanity causes someone to turn to mass murder as a possible course of action? This must be some sort of insanity, don’t you think? It must be. I can find no sane justification for hurting others.
So what causes it? Something deep or something on the surface works on the people who commit these atrocities. And I don’t think it is ideology. I think there is something deeper than ideology. There is some dark, devious, malevolent thing that eats away at some people and makes them a certain form of insane. And I want to know it. I want to name it because once we name it, it can no longer hide in the shadows. It will have no power, and we will be able to vanquish it. I hope so, because we are systematically tearing each other apart, and it must stop.
And here’s the most important thing. We are the only ones who can stop it.
How do we, as a people, as the people of the Earth find the words and the actions? How do we come together? And I don’t mean only the ones who think like we do or look like we do. I mean all of us. We are all in this together. No one here gets out alive.
We are all flying through space on a nondescript hunk of rock and air and water, and we are stuck here together. In order to make it work for the long-term, we will need to find that common ground and use it as the tether that unites us. Or, we will all eventually be lost to the atrocities and injustices that are regularly visited upon so many.
In order to fight these injustices, we will all need acknowledge that we are the same. The ideologies and belief systems that keep us separate, do so, by design. There is no better way to shore up supporters than to tell those who are like you that all the others are worse and worthless. And we must see past them to our shared characteristics. We must. That is the only way we will make it.
I keep coming back to one line from John Lennon’s, “Imagine.” “I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will be as one.”
What will it take before our collective psyche sees the truth and learns from it? What will it take before we all cry with one voice? “Enough! No more!”
How many will be shot? How many will starve? How many will be raped or beaten or murdered before we remember we are all one people? We are all one species. We are all one.
I make this pledge. I vow to work towards empathy, understanding, and compassion towards all. This is my solemn vow.
I hope you will join me.