On top of the 'good times' in my life, the world has suffered more death and terror at the hands of extremists. As someone who has a 'public' life, I felt guilty talking about the positives and successes in my life, while others are suffering. The effects of extremist acts in our global world doesn't just affect the families and friends of those injured or lost. Nor does it only affect the locality where these acts occur.
The effects are long-reaching and are an assault on humanity, on all of us as a global society. What I achieve personally seems trivial compared to what is happening to me as a citizen of the world. So writing here about my latest book release etc left a bad taste in my mouth and I felt guilty crowing to you all.
Guilt was foremost in my mind. After all, I do care about humanity and what happens to us as a society. However, I came to realize that first of all, there is absolutely nothing I can do to stop terrorism. There is nothing I can do to help the victims and their circle of family and friends. And, there is nothing I can say except to express my disgust and give my condolences. I was born in a democratic country and live in a beautiful part of the world where I am free to believe and live my life as I wish. I don't have to run from uniformed soldiers working for a dictator or hide from weaponed radicals.
As the week wore on from last week's crisis in Paris, my disgust grew in a different direction. I understand that people react to fear in different ways so my words here aren't to condemn anyone. What I can't accept are people who condemn a culture of people as a whole when it is a misled, disenfranchised, narcissistic group who use religion to carry out barbaric acts of terror and killing.
I was dismayed to hear someone say that Islam was not a peaceful religion. I was disgusted to hear a republican say only Christians should be allowed to immigrate into the US. I was equally disgusted to hear of violent attacks on innocent immigrants. This is how religious wars get started that really have nothing to do with religion.
Personally, I don't belong to a religious group. I consider myself a spiritualist and try to live my life by the golden rule, 'One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself''. My problem with religion is that as soon as you belong to one religious culture, you've pissed off another group of people and their culture. Many wars in the world's history have been fought in the name of religion and a lot of people have suffered. On the other hand, I do not condemn those who do belong to a religion. If you study any religion, the basic core is based on love and peace for your fellow man. I'm lucky enough to live in a democratic society that allows freedom of speech and freedom of religion. I cherish that right and would like to believe that I respect others rights.
The problem lies in ourselves. As a whole, we are a caring, supportive society. However, fear and hate are created by people, not religion. This has been a fundamental fact since the beginning of humanity. And the nature of the war that is being fought today in our world knows no boundaries. It can hit anywhere in our small global community.We can't allow a small percentage of barbaric terrorists control over our lives, making us live in fear and more importantly, turning us against each other and those who may have different cultural beliefs than our. We can't allow them to change our quality of life and tarnish the joy we experience in our lives. Otherwise, they will win and they may not take over the world but they will hold the world hostage.
I've come to realize that I have nothing to feel guilty about. The guilt should be theirs.