The tragedy in Paris has a lot of people – including the French, apparently – rethinking their views on the world picture. I am here to tell you that I have no idea what the answers are to a problem that has both just surfaced in the past 20 years, and yet has existed since the 1700’s.
Social media has been ablaze with calls for action and calls for calm. It’s his fault, their fault, her fault, our fault… and each of those contentions has some truth. I’ve always felt, though, that the responsibility for murder falls on the murderer, whatever their bizarre motivations may be.
The French did something that surprised a lot of people. They attacked the “head of the beast” by bombing headquarters of ISIS in Syria. I’m not sure why we didn’t think of that, but I say, good for them! I imagine ISIS was surprised.
Some people posting on Facebook were calling for restraint. I guess it’s the “two wrongs don’t make a right” theory at play. Turning the other cheek may work with individual human interactions, but Russian machine guns don’t leave much of a cheek left to turn, not to mention suicide bombs.
Others are calling for all-out war. I hope we can avoid that.
The British, I believe, are calling this a very sticky wicket, and the rest of Europe is holding its breath. I’m writing this from Washington D.C., which has been threatened again as well. I can’t wait to get home to a less symbolic place!
What to do? Who knows?
After 9-11 there was a radio host who encouraged his listeners to do something that seemed not to be helpful at all, on the face of it. He suggested that people realize what they can’t do to solve the world’s problems, and focus on what they can do to solve their own.
He suggested reinvesting in home and family, looking more deeply into their faith, and thinking hard about what each of us can do to make our own lives more meaningful and well-lived. He talked about re-evaluating our possessions, our indebtedness, our neighborliness, and our family roles.
None of that will defeat ISIS or prevent bombings and such. But, since we as individuals will be hard-pressed to do much on that front, why not do something that’s attainable and valuable?
My goodness. Your goodness. Our goodness. Who knows? It may just catch on.