When I began to watch the news last evening about India I was transfixed: it seemed so frightening to me that a place like Mumbai or a hotel like the Taj would be under attack. The video’s of people struggling to find a safe place and the recorded sounds of gunfire and explosions were terrifying to watch. At first it seemed unreal and very far removed from our daily lives, but then a reporter who was from India stated calmly that the attack was as if a band of terrorists had entered time square, shot our civilians and forcibly entered the Plaza Hotel(or the equivalent as it no longer exists). When I heard her say this I was almost paralysed by the understanding that she was correct. The world we live in today is not safe anywhere and nothing can be taken for granted. Just as some day, when I have grandchildren, I will tell them of the time when we were able to stand under running water in the shower for hours if we wanted, I am certain we are watching on television things that will become more and more common. We are living in a world where differences seem monumental and borders , though blurred, create rage and fear among groups of people. Just as water will become a luxury we can no longer waste, so will the assumption that peace and safety are a natural and deserved part of our daily lives. As Americans we have been sheltered from war but not terrorism. As Americans we have been less than mindful in spreading our peacemaking philosophy throughout the world. Now is the time to try harder to do this by developing compassion towards others and spreading that compassion to everyone around you. There is an article in the New York Times this morning written by Nickolas Kristof about the bravery of some woman called “The Bravery of Heroes”. I think everyone should read this piece as it inspires those who do to get involved in unjust and violent behavior. I think we need to begin right now.
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