A Grain of Salt

(Photo by Ekevara Kitpowsong/ Illustration by Serina Mercado)

(Photo by Ekevara Kitpowsong/ Illustration by Serina Mercado)

Column

By Patrick Tamayo/Opinion Editor

We’re all vulnerable.

Anytime we go out into the world, we put ourselves in situations of potential harm. As we go about our daily existence we seldom take into account the things around us.

We get caught up in our own lives, trying to make it to the train, rushing to get lunch before heading to your next meeting or any other routine we go through.

But the world is a complicated place and sometimes we’re reminded just how complicated it is when it hits so close to home.

Is the incident in Paris the one that wakes people up? Probably not.

As devastating and barbaric the incident was, there is no answer to the chaos our world has become.

The violence in Paris was an unacceptable act of cowardice.

We have ignored events that are happening in other parts of the world. This type of atrocity happens on regular basis, just not here. Not in Westernized countries. Beirut, who cares? Niger? That’s in Africa, that doesn’t affect us.

Bombings, raids on villages, killing of civilians and callous savagery is a normal thing, and unless you’re searching for this kind of news you’ll likely not get too much more than a blurb if anything at all.

I was under the impression we weren’t supposed to be worried about this group and not over inflate their importance.

The same organization that has been beheading people on high resolution, slow motion film, driving around in caravans of Toyota’s and slowly lowering prisoners in cages into rivers can maybe now have their importance inflated, just a bit.

The quick answer appears to be to wage war on the organization claiming responsibility for the attack.

Waging war is a great idea, however, haven’t some of the greatest superpowers on the planet been dropping bombs on them for some time now?

Secretary of State John Kerry issued a warning to the organization, “your days are numbered, and you will be defeated.”

This after reports surfaced that the Pentagon was “reasonably certain” British citizen “Jihadi John,” who is alleged to have killed countless people, including U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, in highly edited videos that were posted online.

The group in Paris apparently missed Kerry’s warning as we are left shaking our heads in disbelief as the atrocity is much too close to home this time around.

We are vulnerable as humans. Every time we leave the safety of our homes, but as a society we cannot choose to be afraid to go out. We must choose to live our lives as we have.

It shouldn’t matter that we’re caught up in our own things and that we can’t let the acts of cowards determine how we live.

Our problems are still here. The soaring rents, the budget cuts, homelessness, crime, your husband’s drinking, the kids on the lawn and all the rest of our problems. All still here.

There is violence around the world and there is violence around us. No, we’re not used to terrorists gunning down people at will. That’s not acceptable. We expect our killings to be drug related, turf related and you looked at me wrong related. We’re cool with that, but storming a building and killing hundreds, no, that is not acceptable.

The incident is atrocious, and those affected need time to heal, but we cannot allow ourselves to be afraid to do anything we wouldn’t normally do.

There is no one answer. Things will likely not get better. We’re not even sure who it is we’re fighting.

We are unaware, by choice or otherwise, of the problems occurring around the world. We cannot fathom the ideology of many groups of people or the lengths they might go for their beliefs.

At the same time, we cannot bow down to cowardice and we cannot let the actions, as gross as they may be, dictate how we live our lives.

You cannot change people’s way of thinking. Life will continue, violence will continue and people’s beliefs and ideology will remain the same.

We have to realize what is important to us. Take care of each other as well as we can and enjoy the freedoms and liberties we still have.


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Patrick Tamayo | ptamayo@theguardsman.com

Calindra Revier | crevier@theguardsman.com

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