Editor: I wouldn’t say we’re at war, but I wouldn’t say we’re at peace, either.
We live in turbulent times; the surprise attack has replaced organized warfare in this era of global volatility. While it is far less costly in lives, it is far more costly in anxiety and fear.
We find ourselves perpetually waiting for the other shoe to drop. There is no war zone. Schools, theaters, cafes, airports and playgrounds are all fair game. We have gang conflicts in neighborhoods, police-citizen battles in cities, ethnic and religious conflicts around the world. We find friends spying on friends, disappearing airliners, economic sanctions.
Children, in the eyes of some militants, are not innocents — they are “soft targets.” Anger in its various iterations rages everywhere. Our leaders need to figure out why it’s happening and how to counteract it.
Meantime, we citizens can take small steps that can make a difference.
Now is the time to recommit ourselves to solidarity and the common good. We are getting some wake-up calls — so let’s listen.
When Sen. Elizabeth Warren spoke against the congressional budget bill, though it passed unchanged, she reminded us to beware of prescribed injustice. When President Obama opened the doors to a formal relationship with Cuba, he reminded us that it’s time to end a pointless enmity. When the Supreme Court upheld the right of undocumented young people to hold driver’s licenses in Arizona, it reminded us of the importance of immigrants in our pluralistic society. When we witnessed a rash of peaceful demonstrations against racial profiling prompted by the disputed fatalities in Ferguson and Staten Island, we saw that Americans still care about fairness.
We’re counting our blessings. Our blessings are our rights and responsibilities. Expect fairness and ensure that it extends to all.
January 11, 2015