So it’s Day 15 in the NoMo Challenge at yeah write and I’ve averaged a post every other day. Apparently, that’s my limit. I’m good with that. My mind is reeling with news items from the last two weeks.
- Paris, Beirut, Kenya. As we mourn the victims in this weekend’s terrorism attack in Paris, I am equally mindful of last week’s horror in Beirut. A lot of discussion on social media over the weekend has highlighted that we Americans focus only on those countries whose citizens look like us. There is some truth to this, without doubt. It is also a consequence of commercial media that selects coverage based on what draws the most viewers. I remember when the nearly 150 students at Kenya’s Garissa University College were slaughtered last spring and how little media coverage this was given. Here’s the bottom line: terrorism is everywhere and wherever it strikes, the victims should have our mourning and prayers. We inhabit this earth together.
- Terrorists thrive on our xenophobia. If our response to terrorism is to punish immigrants who are seeking refuge from the very same terrorists, then we are handing over our power to the terrorists. If our response is to do away with basic tenets of democracy under the guise of safety, we are handing over our power to the terrorists. If our response is to invade another country without thoughtful deliberation and just cause, we are handing over our power to the terrorists. Our power is democracy—a free and open society, the antithesis of what terrorists want.
- It’s November and flowers are blooming in my garden. While the thriving purple alyssum in my garden is a happy sight during an especially tragic weekend, I’m reminded that this is abnormal. Climate change is real and present and getting worse. Earlier this month, we learned that the Chinese had underestimated its carbon emissions by 17%. Businesses in the United States (hello, Koch Brothers; hello, Exxon) continue to manipulate public understanding of just how dangerous climate change is.
- It’s so dangerous that some scientists, especially the ones speaking out, struggle with depression. In July 2015, Esquire published an article on the sobering reality these scientists face every day: “When the End of Human Civilization Is Your Day Job: Among many climate scientists, gloom has set in. Things are worse than we think, but they can’t really talk about it.“
- In spite of everything, gratitude. No matter how bleak or scary the world can be, I’m grateful to be here. Grateful for my husband, my friends, my siblings, my education, my home. I am grateful for words. I am grateful for you. I am grateful to be in a world blessed by this brave soul who saved hundreds of lives at the cost of his own.