Saturday, December 15, 2012

Violence - from Connecticut to Peshawar

What's the world coming to? What's happening around us, and how much longer are we expected to tolerate it? Is it really enough to just say "RIP" and "My heart goes out to the victims and their families" anymore? Is it really enough to just pray, cry, pray some more, and pray for more safety and peace in the world?

27 people got killed yesterday (Friday, Dec. 14th), 20 of them children and 7 staff members, at a mass shooting in an elementary school in Connecticut (USA). The killer committed suicide afterwards.

Terrorism in the form of mass shootings in America has been on the rise lately (na, the killers are't Muslims; they're actually Christian, I think, but who'd know what they really are since no one ever mentions the religion of anyone who engages in violent acts unless they're Muslim. Then again, let's not politicize this. I do, however, like a certain question posed on Twitter recently in a sarcastic tone that went like: "Can someone please tell me what religion the Connecticut shooter followed/claimed so I can blame it? #Sarcasm"). But we're not here to blame cultures or religions or mindsets or people. We're here to express our condolences for the victim of violence who are going to be unfairly traumatized for life having been witness to something as dreadful and painful as this -- and for those who lost their lives, whether in Connecticut or in Peshawar, in this morning's attacks.

The worst part is perhaps that these are happening in totally random cities and states. Who knows what will be next? I want to think positive, I really do. I want to hope for the best, I want to believe that we as humans are better than this. But things around me don't allow me to believe this. I'm heartbroken.

The pictures of little frightened children are haunting me. I cannot cry to such things normally, no matter where it happens - but all I can think of are all the kids in my own life and realizing that there are so many people who lost their own children, little siblings, cousins, best friends, other loved ones - and so unexpectedly. 

Then there are the Peshawar attacks that happened this morning (night in Pakistan). Peshawar is one of the major cities of Pakistan, majority ethnically Pashtun. Recently, the city has been subjected to extreme violence, and today was one of the highlights in its history. News reports don't agree on how many people are killed in it (well, that's telling enough!); some say 2 killed, 20+ injured, others say 7 killed and 20+ killed. It is reported that 3 rockets were fired at a residential town in Peshawar called University Town, close to the Peshawar airport. People on Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of Social Media who live in Peshawar or have connections in Peshawar are currently discussing who all they lost in the attacks, what's going on, and how people are reacting. At least 10 have been killed so far, it seems; the number of injured people is somewhere in the high 20s. 

Despite knowing that prayers aren't enough, I'm going to ask that we pray anyway--for those who believe in prayer. If you don't, do whatever else you believe is going to help, and don't forget to share your ideas with us, especially if they are more practical, so that we can also apply them.

Rest in peace, little children who are gone, whether in Connecticut or Peshawar. Rest in peace, everyone else who died in either and in all other shootings and terroristic activities. I pray for wisdom, peace, and patience for all those who have lost loved ones.

I don't know why people commit such crimes, and I don't know how we can prevent them, but I know that they are absolutely unfair and that no one deserves to be victimized because of them. Somehow, people, somehow, we're going to survive . . .

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