Global tragedies are a concern for everyone everywhere

With the terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut and Baghdad, the natural disasters in Japan and Mexico and the rising chaos worldwide, life has become a struggle. We are lost in a nightmare in which there is no awaking; humanity is terrified of our reality.

The tragedy of the world is not all on the other side of the planet. If we look around, it’s in our own backyard. Shootings, stabbings, sexual assaults, cyber threats, anti-Semitism and hate crimes are becoming an undeniable reality here in Waterloo. Violence is everywhere.

Is anyone really safe?

Following Remembrance Day, where many of us joined together to commemorate our fallen soldiers and their sacrifice for peace, it appears that others interpreted the time as an invitation to unleash hatred — the very evil those soldiers sacrificed their lives to defeat.

On the night of November 11, some students noticed the flag of Nazi Germany hung on a window near campus. It bared a swastika: the ultimate symbol of oppression and hatred.

On November 16, the windows of a Hindu Temple in Kitchener were shattered. This incident followed an attack on a Mosque in Peterborough only days before. A woman in Toronto was attacked, being kicked and punched “all over” in what police are calling a hate crime.

On November 17, a friendly between Germany and Holland was cancelled due to suspicious activity, including a truck bomb disguised as an ambulance and a suspicious suitcase.

People are vandalizing properties with inappropriate graffiti. Morals are being forgotten.

Social media features countless hate messages with people pointing fingers and expressing their concern for our globalizing world. Some are blaming the very refugees who are desperate to escape the same terrors that have been the inception of our fear. Shutting boarders will not protect our lives, it will only feed the fire.    

The civilized world is turning against each other. And that is exactly what ISIS and all of those provoking fear and war want.

Through this ride of terror, we are lost in a paradox of violence. When tragedy strikes, people are also struck with anger and hunger for revenge. Such anger and hunger can often blind civilians from the true enemy. The blindness causes the angered to target the innocent. Through targeting the innocent, they are conforming to the same problem that influenced them to ignorantly react. In the end, violence only leads to more violence.

Such devastation has become normalized within our society. We hear about a new attack every day. Death tolls are continuing to spike. We are rapidly being exposed to the catastrophes of our planet.

Our response to disaster typically goes as follows: We express our grief on social media, possibly donate to a few recovery organizations, watch some CNN coverage for a few days and then move on with our lives. It has become our routine of mourning.

Have we become desensitized to the threats of our world? Is this routine the only way to continue forward?

Is it the only basis of acceptance, of feeling safe when our system of safety is in jeopardy?

What hope does humanity have?

We are living in times of chaos, but we must not fan the flame.

We must not conform to the violence.

We must not point fingers and we must not give in to the hatred of our planet.

Amongst the grief, there is love in our shadowy reality.

That love is the only light at the end of our blackened tunnel.

As we continue forward, we can only hope that we don’t blend in with the darkness.

We must refuse to take part in the destruction of civilization.

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