Unless you’ve been living under a rock or simply choose to ignore the ofttimes harsh realities of our world, then you know about the recent terrorists attacks in Paris. CNN has been covering it left and right since the story (and the world’s heart) broke. Ever since that moment, all my social media feeds have erupted with discourse from all sides of the spectrum. I’ve even got friends passive-aggressively attacking each other on Facebook, vehemently protesting through somewhat hallow pronouncements, the things they find wrong with the world and people (including each other) in general.
The sad reality of all of this, is that that attack wasn’t even the only act of terrorism that recently occurred; just the only one which received the most media attention. For whatever reasons, the most vocal news authorities along with the collective consciousness born of social media, did not highlight the other recent attacks in Lebanon and Afghanistan, including the beheading of 7 individuals; one of which was a 9 year old girl.
I don’t get any of this; I truly don’t. I don’t understand why these acts would be carried out in the name of one’s religious convictions. Granted, I’m not a religious individual despite my strict Catholic upbringing, but if something feels this wrong, there isn’t too much gray area to hide behind. I may not recall much of my Sunday School teachings, but every week my pastor made a point to say one phrase:
“God is Love”
It’s simple and cheesy, but you know what? It works. Every person experiences this powerful phenomena in different ways, but the one common unspoken agreement is that Love brings people together, not drive them apart. If the heart of religion is a message of Love, then why do these things happen? Love is NOT divisive, yet somehow religion can be. I have many friends of different faiths and I respect them and their beliefs enough to not let it be a topic of conversation between us (in person, social media, or otherwise) because I value their presence in my life.
That’s what it should come down to; just value each other. Every individual person, thought, and heartbeat, make up this planet and it can be a beautiful place to live. I can’t help but feel that the sooner we all realize we are citizens of the entire world instead of just one nation, the faster we can close in on the elusive ideal known as Peace on Earth.