The headlines troubled us all. A suicide bomber blows himself up killing 22 individuals at a rock concert in Manchester, England. Many were young children not to mention injuring countless others. And we ask why? We scratch our heads and we struggle to find answers. Just what makes this terrorist and others like him think that they are beyond the law, setting on destroying human life and destruction?
But the question needs to be asked: “are we that much better?”
Isn’t it the same mindset when people think that they are above safety and traffic laws and, thereby, operate a motorized vehicle while being intoxicated? Or drive and text? Or drive being high on drugs? Or behave like “speed freaks”, driving like maniacs thinking the public roadways are the Indianapolis 500 – all behaviors dangerous to public safety?
22 people died in Manchester. In any given week in Canada on average, 28 people lose their lives to drunk driving.
The terrorist act may be different – it was deliberate; car accidents are accidental. But the end results are the same.
And isn’t it the same frame of mind by those criminals and gang members responsible for the shootings and other violent crimes, turning parts of American cities into “war zones” with many victims being innocent bystanders including children.
And isn’t it the same mindset by those in power who refuse to do anything about fixing the homeless crisis? Their weapon is their silence. With the wealth available, we cannot end homelessness and poverty in the industrial world. It is estimated that 100 homeless will die on our streets in Toronto this year. Poverty is not just a problem in some third world country. We have the resources and the talents to end poverty. The only thing missing is the will.
And isn’t it the same mindset when husbands or boyfriends ignore court orders, telling them to stay away from their abused wives or girlfriends but don’t and continue their abuse?
And isn’t the same mindset of one President Donald Trump who plans to cut food stamps and other social programs that help the poor. Cutting social programs will only lead to more crime and other social problems which will cost taxpayers. And he wants to save the taxpayers money! And Mr. Trump claims to be a “pro-life” president. But one cannot be “pro-life” and neglect even one hurting soul.
Or the mindset by the system that “warehouses” people who live in our mental health institutions, our nursing homes, and our prison systems? These systems don’t give their residents reasons to live, helping them find purposes. Many are wasting away. Death becomes a relief from their pain and suffering.
And isn’t it the same mindset by those who feel no accountability to their fellow person? Don’t we hurt people when we refuse to accept any form of responsibility for our neighbor’s welfare? We are offended when someone is assaulted and no one helps out. But don’t we do the same when we refuse to help our fellow person in his time of need? If we are not helping, are we not hurting? If we are not giving life, are we not taking life away? It may not be quick or painful like shooting someone, but is it still destructive.
The terror attacks in Manchester and other places offend me. But I will not turn a blind eye to the destruction that exists in our own backyard. If we refuse to fix these problems, are we any better than the terrorist? The only difference, if there is a difference, is the degree of severity.
Ken works as a security guard. He’s a struggling writer of sketch comedy and pieces on spiritual issues. He wants to set up a non- profit comedy troupe for the community, entertaining in hospitals, drop-in centres, etc. He has established a troupe for psychiatric and physically-challenged communities to participate in. He is also interested in the plight of psychiatric patients and other poverty-related issues. Ken can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org