So this is what it’s come to.
Thanks to terrorists roaming the earth, we are slowly developing an almost strangely heroic tolerance for random, mass murder. In this perverse new world, Western bravery is now seemingly measured by our willingness to stoically accept the risk of our own death at an outdoor café, while (conveniently) the terrorists measure bravery by their willingness to shoot us in the head while we’re sitting there.
My fear is that this twisted, fatalistic resignation to the reality of random killing will not only invite further chaos, but eventually matastisize into a callous barrier that protects us emotionally from the agony of the innocents who are in fact increasingly and indiscriminately being picked off (or permanently maimed) by this band of religious dementors.
As all the world’s attention was focused on France and Mali this past week, it struck me how quickly we moved on from the over 200 victims in the Russian plane that exploded in mid air thanks to a planted bomb…those vacationers returning home; remember them?
Somewhere there’s a despondent Russian grandmother who hasn’t been able to eat since the loss of her son and his entire family in this horrific attack. She cannot sleep as she wonders if he suffered or had time to hold on to his young wife and those precious grandchildren as they fell out of the clear, blue sky. But the press isn’t listening to this grandma as she wails in her little corner of hell; it has moved on to the next story..and maybe we have too. There aren’t enough candles in the world to lead this poor woman out of the darkness she’s trapped in no matter how many vigils we organize… so we look away with a resigned sigh and get back to what we were doing.
A beheading here, a suicide bombing there..hey, when your number’s up – maybe it’s simply your time to go. This new fangled “philosophy” will certainly help take the edge off as you board the subway and ride to the Macy’s parade this Thursday. After all, you gotta live..
“… we are not going to give in to fear. We are not going to submit to terror. We will carry on as before, use the Metro, visit bars, see friends. Otherwise the terrorists win.” – Vivien Bouffard, 42, Paris.
So I guess living our lives ‘as normal’ has suddenly morphed into a patriotic act of defiance (not to be confused with defense.) Well, I’ll raise my glass on Thanksgiving to this newly crafted concept of bravery and hope that it doesn’t erode..because if it ever does, we may demand more from ourselves in response to mass murder than just the ‘courage’ to go out to eat.