Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Something Worth Fearing

When terrorists attack their objective is to inspire fear. We are constantly reminded that we must not give into such fear. We cannot let the terrorists achieve their goals. So we go on with our lives. That is not the only way we respond to terror, however.

Another result of attacks like the ones suffered in Boston this week is sorrow. We hear the stories of the lives affected, and ended prematurely, and we grieve. This is a good response and even an important one. Sometimes we need to be reminded that the suffering in this world can be overwhelming when we don’t ignore it. We make ignoring suffering an art. We design our lives in such a way that we are sheltered from the daily and even hourly stories of suffering in the world. We have convinced ourselves that it is possible to avoid suffering merely by exercising common sense or perhaps some religious “healthy living.” That is a lie. However, when we do open our eyes to the suffering around us we might discover that we can do something to ease the sorrow around us.

The other response to terror is truly a scary one. It is the response we should fear. Hatred. It is a short step from sorrow for suffering to hatred for those who cause it, but that way lies madness. It is, after all, hatred that inspires the people who perform these acts. We do not want to allow room in our hearts for the same sort of motivation.

Do not allow the terrorists to succeed in their goals. Do not give into fear. Do not give into hate.

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