It has happened again; four months after the attacks in Paris, three years after Boston, 11 years after London, almost 15 after New York, in a peaceful little country called Brussels, the hateful face of humanity has peered back at us. We have been attacked in the peaceful moments of our day: going to work, coming home, sight-seeing, eating.
Terrorism. The purpose is to instill an extreme fear into our lives. To push people to the breaking point, to change how they live their lives. To be fearful. Like the bully waiting for us on our way home when we were 12, they want to push us, to watch us cower. To have power over us. And we have let them.
We have traded our freedoms for security theater. We have given away privacy to accomplish nothing. We have given in to fear and hate.
And we are wrong. Just plain wrong.
Throughout history there have been those who have tried to stand higher than others. Those that have said, “My religion is better than yours,” My country is better than yours,” “My race is better than yours,” “My gender is better than yours.” They were wrong too.
Throughout history there have been those that have banned books, denied science, undermined education. Dictators and despots will always go after the learned and educated; ideas and critical thinking are the best weapon against evil.
We are all one humanity. We are all stuck on this rock together. Shouldn’t we try to make the best of it? There is too much art yet to make. Too much music. Too many stories yet to tell. Too many places yet to travel to.
If the goal of terrorism is to change how we live our lives, it isn’t going to work on me. I will not be afraid to travel to New York again. To travel to Paris or Brussels or London or a World Cup match. I will not be made to fear because of someone’s political belief. I refuse to live my life cowering to other people’s fear and hate. I refuse to hate.
Who is with me?