Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Prayers for Brussels

There aren't words. It feels like we lived through this horror in Paris just yesterday, and now, here we are, watching yet another city ravaged by the pain of watching lives taken and others destroyed right in front of their eyes.

I don't have words for the way my heart aches for the people of Brussels, and Belgium as a whole, but what I do have is a poem by my friend Jon Jorgenson.

I've quit watching the news. I'd rather watch something a bit more uplifting...like Old Yeller. Because between the race riots, and the bombings, and the school shootings, I'm not sure how much more I can handle viewing. And for every brokenhearted mother, trigger-happy officer, and lonely teenage mugshot that I see, I find myself saying the same thing over and over again: "It's gotta stop somewhere."

Crying while cutting, hate crimes and Dateline, it's gotta stop somewhere. 

Drug busts, terrorist bombs, drinking binges, junk bonds, it's gotta stop somewhere.

Homophobes, hate in droves, depression, and an obsession with a fake ideal, with fitness ads and Facebook boasts that are anything but real, it's gotta stop somewhere.

And the internet bully is fully convinced that she doesn't cause any pain through hat she puts into cyberspace, but the tap of fingers on keys can cause far more damage than a punch to the face. We gotta tell her, "Your words leave a trace, and they've gotta stop somewhere." 

Another school shooting rooting itself in our reality, becoming the norm, and when we form an opinion before we form a relationship, it's no wonder that anger and violence and hostility are what's being born.

Classism, racism, sexism, won't speak with 'em, sit with 'em, or eat with 'em if they don't look like me, talk like me, won't even extend the courtesy to let them walk by me without a dirty look, a flirty hook, trying to "get some" but then judging her if she's already been took, and me thinking I know something about black people just 'cause I read about 'em in a book?

It's gotta stop somewhere, because it's only happening over a tweet until it's happening on your street right at your feet and you become one of those 140 characters. Like a sickening cycle we're doomed to repeat, retweet, but it's gotta stop somewhere.

Why not here? Why not with your peers? Why not with them? Why not plant seeds from which a righteous generation can stem? It's gotta start somewhere. You see, we can blame or shelter people all we want, but once they're out in the field, the only shield they'll be wielding is the wisdom, courage, and love we either did or did not pass on. 

It's gotta stop somewhere, and this generation, they're the best chance we got. 

How much longer are we going to let this happen? How much longer are we going to allow hatred and prejudice rule the world and rip hearts and lives apart at the seams before we decide that enough is enough? How much longer are we going to let love and light be forced into the background?

It's gotta stop somewhere.

But for now, pray for Brussels.

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