Back to top

OP/ED: When fear finds you ... fight back

Are we learning anything? Are we trying to solve underlying problems? It's what I've been thinking about as the rinse and repeat cycle of terrorism and mass shootings continues. So many good, innocent people lost. Dreams and legacy unrealized.

I don't think it's good enough to just report it anymore with sense of shock, or have us just watch and move on - without someone finally exhibiting some leadership and trying to generate change with courage. How hard it is; my first reaction - I would love to go to the cottage and hide from the world and its news. I'm sure millions feel the same. But that doesn't solve anything.

A constitutional right never envisioned someone unleashing their issues at the end of a machine gun. Terrorism has deeper roots in inequality....lack of democracy....loss of hope. Politics is increasingly about us vs them....division. Online trolls run rampant because law hasn't caught up to sense of immunity and entitlement in posts.

Change never happens unless enough people rise up to say things need to change. I don't think I'm naive to say most people fundamentally believe in the pursuit of "goodness." To care...to serve...to have a moral compass that aims for better....for progress.

We therefore can't let the angst, the fear, and a feeling that we can't effect change beat us. We have strength in numbers...if we want to have it. But it also requires the guts for us to dig to understand roots of things, and create the change we want to see. Lobby to change laws. Fight for equality in action. Demand more sane politics. Tell the trolls to shut up. If we don't do it - in massive numbers now - we hand the world to the darkness.

How much darkness do we need before we say it's too much? Does it take a thousand dead at once? A nuclear conflict? Unfortunately we tend to wait for a severe threshold of crisis before we change the order of things. Let's not wait this time. The slippery slope is all around us. We can see it. We all have a responsibility to change its course. And we can all be that change in our own way. The power of leadership lies in all of us.