You may have heard that the French are at war with ISIS. You may have heard that the US has been bombing sites in Syria. You may have heard that the hacktivist group, Anonymous, has declared war against the Islamic State.
You have most definitely heard of the recent acts of terror in France, Lebanon and around the world.
In the recent days I have wished there was something I could do to fight the terrorists, too. I’m not talking about going to war, because I’m not made for that, but something. Bake cookies for peace? Bake cakes of solidarity? Start a project where people make squares of a quilt and then organize to have it sewn together – a quilt that shows our unity and grief?
I am one medium sized woman. I am not a President of a country, a CEO of a corporation, or director of a nonprofit. I do not have large amounts of money. I am not famous. My name is only recognized in the households of my friends and family, but I am not a nobody. I am not powerless. I can fight the terrorist in my own life, and you can too. We can fight, and we can win.
What is a terrorist? What do they want? In the simplest terms they want us to be afraid. They want to terrorize us so we can no longer live without fear, because fear will cause us to do all kinds of harm to one another. At first we will stop trusting that person on the bus, and then we will stop trusting that person in the market, and then we will stop trusting our neighbors, and eventually we will stop trusting our relatives and friends. It will break us apart. Fear can divide us on every level. Fear can also keep us from doing the things we love. Fear can keep us from running a marathon, or going to a soccer game, or buying tickets to a concert.
Unity can combat terror. Kindness can combat fear. Compassion and empathy can keep us together. Our ideas, freely shared, can keep us from ignorance and extremism.
I want to fight the terrorist and I will do so, by welcoming a stranger, reaching out to the world with the words on my blog, building a diverse community with my writing, looking after my neighbors, offering help to those in need, going to a Football game, traveling on an airplane, and refusing to let fear dictate how I live my life and how I treat people.
You, the person in my city, are not separate from me. You, the person in another state, are not separate from me. You, the person in Mexico, or South America, are not separate from me. You, the person in Japan, or Australia, are not separate from me. You, anywhere in the world, are a part of me and I am a part of you. There are more of us who want peace than who want terror. I join with you in celebration of life and all that we have to rejoice over. I join with in in unity and love. I want the best for you. In this way, with these ideas, we have already beat terrorism. We are the victors. We have already won.
For another blogger’s view on the issue of terror and fear, visit this link.