I would like to dedicate this post to the citizens of France.
Today, I am not an American.
I am bonded to the people of France NOT by nationality but by brotherhood.
I share with you in the belief
that world peace is possible.
That one day citizens of this world will posses a respect for all humanity, regardless of one's sex, race, religion, disability, nation, personal or political views.
Today's events in Paris remind us that we live in a world that promotes violence.
Where killing is encouraged as a means to end political, civil and religious difference.
It is a cancerous mass mindset that has lead to the intolerable continuation of civilian slaughter.
I feel a loss for the number of precious lives taken so mercilessly, an abominable side-effect of what happens when those among us hate,
when we use violence as a means to end an opposing ideology.
when national, civil or religious pride teaches us to emphasize our difference instead of our similarity.
If we are to end the vicious cycle of hatred, then no matter where in the world these atrocities occur, we must meet violence consistently with solidarity and peace, with our own personal acts of selflessness and compassion.
We must unite, not as countrymen, but as fellow human beings.
We must promote peace, not retaliation.
“Let no one be discouraged by the belief there is nothing one person can do against the enormous array of the world’s ills, misery, ignorance and violence. Few will have the greatness to bend history, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. And in the total of all those acts will be written the history of a generation.” - Robert F. Kennedy
In 1968, Robert Kennedy gave a speech shortly after the brutal slaying of Martin Luther King, entitled "On the Mindless Menace of Violence"
It is interesting to me, how after almost 50 years, his words resonate on an international scale.
I have highlighted a few of his paragraphs and changed a few of his words (in quotations) to reflect the relevance to today's events.
"When ever a "human" life is taken by another "human" unnecessarily – whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of the law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence of in response to violence – whenever we tear at the fabric of life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole "world" is degraded
The question is whether we can find in our midst and in our own hearts that leadership of humane purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence
Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we can not vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution.
But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek as we do, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.
Surely this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely we can learn at least to look at those around us as fellow citizens, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind us the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts "fellow citizens" once again.”