Has the world gone mad? The level of violence, vitriol and hate has gone beyond a tipping point and beyond a boiling point and has reached the level of pure madness.
The terrorist attack in Paris was bad enough. But the number of mass shootings in the U.S. is showing that the matrix of American society is fraying and falling apart.
We don’t have to worry about terrorists abroad. We have our barbarians at the gate, and they are us.
The NRA says we don’t need gun control, and instead all Americans should be armed. That is pure nuts. More armed Americans would equal more deaths.
The New York Daily News ran a headline in their paper recently that summed it up, calling the
various U.S. mass shooters terrorists – but they didn’t stop there, as they also called Wayne LaPierre, the head of the NRA, a terrorist. That was bold and courageous of the newspaper to do that.
We cannot live in fear of terrorists and mass shooters. Yet at the same time, we can’t put our heads in the sand and pretend it doesn’t happen.
We have to live as warriors, peaceful warriors, in the world. Not as crazed warriors who walk around armed to the teeth and ready to take anyone down.
We have to live as warriors of the light, and of love. We must carry ourselves fearlessly, and with courage.
A few weeks ago I was riding a New York City subway, and when I got on the train, a Caucasian man sitting across from me gave me a smile. But it wasn’t a healthy smile, as there was something a bit off about him. I looked at him and could see he was not right mentally, there was just a crazed look in his eye.
His hair was short and slicked back and he was wearing military fatigues and combat boots. Underneath his pants, at the top of the boots, I spied something strapped around his leg, perhaps a knife. He had a big duffle bag next to him on his seat.
He was looking diagonally across the subway car at a couple of African-American people who were standing and talking, with that same unstable, crazed look in his eyes and also with a weird smile on his face.
He then opened his duffle bag and reached into it. I watched him. I resolved to myself that if I saw him pull a weapon out I was going to jump him and knock the weapon out of his hands. I was not scared, I was ready. I felt this is what I had to do, and if I was injured or even killed in the quest to stop him, so be it. I could potentially save lives and that was all that mattered. I maintained the stance of a peaceful warrior, ready to sacrifice my body if need be for the greater good.
Perhaps I was paranoid, but this is the new reality. I wasn’t fearful though. He reached into the duffle bag, then pulled his empty hand out of it and closed the bag. The subway stopped shortly after that, he got off the train, and that was the last I saw of him.
Was he harmless? We’ll never know. But he was definitely not stable.
I’m not saying that any of us should walk around each and every day looking to jump anyone who you think may be ready to do something. We cannot live in fear. You have to live in hope and love and to want to do the right thing for yourself and others, to show compassion and kindness to all those you come into contact with, and to do it with a strength and a fierceness that shows you are powerful.
The band U2 was scheduled to play in Paris on Nov. 14 and 15, but since the Paris attacks happened on Nov. 13, the band rescheduled the shows for Dec. 6 and 7 in Paris. Bono, U2’s frontman, was hopeful about returning to Paris and said in performing the concert, he will be stressing joy and defiance in the face of terror.
This is what Bono said about the upcoming Paris shows:
“Terrorism relies on people being terrorized, and we were not going to be. We felt the biggest and the only real contribution we can make at a moment like that is to honor the people of Paris, who brought us the concept of liberte, egalite, fraternite.
“ISIS and these kinds of extremists are a death cult. We’re a life cult. Rock ‘n roll is a life force, and it’s joy as an act of defiance.”
The answer to all this madness around us is not to fight fire with fire and have everyone armed. It’s to stand tall and walk as a peaceful warrior. Only love can defeat darkness, and by being a peaceful warrior, you become the greatest and most powerful force for changing the world into something that believes in and honors truth, love and beauty.