Promoting a world of peace
While the world focused on the terrorist attacks in Paris where approximately 130 people were killed, less attention was given to the bombings in Lebanon and Baghdad, an earthquake in Japan and the ongoing crisis of Syrian refugees traveling with no safe place to call home.
The attacks on Paris were what brought everyone in the world together through social media, as Facebook profile pictures across the nation turned the colors red, white and blue and landmarks around the world lit the same colored lights in solace for the torn city.
In these moments, as we see each other as nothing other than fellow human beings, we should be grateful for the life we have and spend our limited amount of time appropriately.
While we can’t control the inhumane acts of terrorism, we can do more as human beings to promote peace across the globe. Instead of dividing over the design of a coffee cup, people should be uniting over the truth – that violence needs to be recognized and discussed, and we should be coming together as a community, not a world divided.
In today’s age of sensationalized media, we are immune to death counts. Many see articles showing up every day of the latest attack on this side of the world, or that side of the world, and yet the viewer scrolls by, unphased by the headline, because it’s close to the same as what they saw the day before, and the week before.
To go out to the store or to the movie theatre has now become a risky endeavor. These deaths are without reason. The concert, soccer and cafe attendees in Paris were not expecting to enter a war zone, just as Colorado moviegoers in 2012 did not expect to be showered in gunfire. The world is different now and we are facing violence where we least expected it, and that’s something we can never completely prepare for, but we can do our best to prevent it.
As seen following the Paris attacks, social media is a tool that can be used for good. In these situations, we are reminded that we are all connected online. Not too long ago it was unheard of to be in contact with someone across the world with the click of a mouse. Today, it’s a daily act. Beyond changing our profile pictures, what can we as young people do to promote an atmosphere of peace?
What’s needed most is for everyone to help to create a world of inclusion and community. Using the tools of social media, simply making it known that we are listening, we are supporting, and we are loving, may help someone who is wildly exposed to radicals, and doesn’t see another way, or another purpose.
War on Muslims
In a perfect world, generalizations would not be made on a religion, but in this case they have. Since 9/11, the Islamic community has received mass hatred and blame for terrorist attacks. Those making such generalizations fail to realize that what ISIS is to extreme Muslims, the KKK is to extreme Christians.
Extremists of any faith will use religious text however it suits them and their motives best.
Republican candidate Donald Trump recently announced on MSNBC that mosques should be watched and studied, because “a lot of talk is going on at the mosques.” Trump, speaking to the crazies of the world, is just another symbol of the narrow-mindedness of those in positions of power.
The solution is not to harass a religion that did not ask for this type of representation. If Christian churches were to be “inspected,” there would be outrage. What the world needs is to embrace the Islamic community, and let them know that we see them as individuals and not symbols of terrorism.
Treat others as you would want to be treated
Living in a dangerous time where it’s impossible to truly eliminate terrorism, we need to be thinking of how to shed positive light on those around us.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, among other governors who made statements regarding refugees, announced Nov. 15 the suspension of taking in Syrian refugees in the state, for security reasons. The legality of this motion is still up in the air, and Snyder has said that refugees already on their way to Michigan are safe. Regardless, the estimated time for a refugee to be vetted into America is around two years.
While it’s understandable that we wouldn’t want a terrorist to disguise themselves as a refugee, we shouldn’t be making innocent people and children, in desperate need of a home, wait two years for a chance.
Collectively, let’s get together and spread the right message: We are a world of diverse people, but we have one common reality. We are all living life, and we should appreciate each other and the lives we live while we can.
Whatever your opinion is, whether it be corralling people around the world in an act of support and peace, mobilizing additional troops in Syria, or closing the doors to refugees, think about how you would feel if it were you.
What if you needed help?