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I don't like living on this planet right now. The human race is awful, every day it seems like we invent new horrific ways to destroy ourselves and our planet. I want it to stop, I truly want peace and joy to abound from all corners of the globe... sadly, that will never happen.
Putting aside the sad fact that every time an act of terrorism occurs, countless lives are ruined and affected. People lose loved ones and people die. In fact, a lot of people have died. 12 at a theater in Aurora, Colorado. 89 at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France. 14 at a banquet hall in San Bernadino, California. 23 dead at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. Now in the span of three days, there were 2 attacks in Edmonton Canada, 1 in Marseille France, and somehow the deadliest shooting has occurred in the US at a concert in Las Vegas. The death toll isn't going to be official for some time, but it isn't hard to see how this will impact hundreds if not thousands of people.
Stories like this are not few and far between. Regretfully, I'm only mentioning a small percentage or fraction of the many attacks that become global news. What about the hundreds that take place in the Middle East that the Western world never hears about? (Oh yeah, those don't matter... they're just killing themselves, right?) I hate to even have to write that last sentence.
Like I said, I'm not a proud citizen of Earth these days. The people who think the Middle East doesn't matter because it's full of darker skinned people who are uncivilized and radical are just as bad as the extremists screaming "Allahu Akbar" right before pulling the pin on a vest filled with explosives. Many of us are good. I'd venture a guess and say that 90 percent of us are.
It's that 10 percent that's floating around out there — the anthropological cesspool that we just can't seem to escape from. We just live among some really crappy people.
Then there's the problem that terrorism keeps people in a state of fear. It makes people feel vulnerable and it ultimately keeps people from experiencing the world. Travel stops, people don't go to large functions anymore, people only go where they absolutely have to. We've seen it before when the Beltway sniper attacks took place in 2002.
With the world going into the toilet as it seems, I find myself having to speak up. I have to take a stand. We all have to do something. It's not enough for us to just get angry and to be appalled. We easily say enough is enough. But... wasn't enough, enough 16 years ago?
And therein lies the problem. The real tragedy of terrorism. It's the fact that we lay witness to these terrible atrocities time and time again and we vow to 'never forget' or 'give peace a chance' and yet, we do nothing. Absolutely nothing.
We scream and shout at the news, we type up words of encouragement on various social media platforms, we change our pictures to show support to the places affected and then we move on after a week or two. Rinse and repeat over and over and over.
We can no longer stand idly by and do the bare minimum. We needn't have to say 'our hearts and thoughts are with you.' What we need to do is to spread love, kindness, encouragement. We need to stop allowing the bad outweigh the good.
I challenge everyone out there to do one act of kindness each day, for the rest of your lives. Stop getting mad when you get cut off on the freeway. Don't huff when you're waiting in line. Smile. Wave. Don't take your bad days out on your family.
Life is short. Make the most of it. Let's stop evil with goodness. I implore you, because I can't afford a trip to Mars and I'd be happy to love this planet again.