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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Troubling Times

Whenever possible, I like for life to be entertaining and humorous.  Looking for humor is a coping mechanism for me, so I indulge in a fair amount of dark humor, which I fear not everyone appreciates (to put it mildly).

Sometimes, though, there is nothing funny about a situation.

Like most people, I am shaken by the shooting at Pulse in Orlando.  I'm horrified by the number of dead and injured.  It is also chilling to reflect on the level of hatred some individuals harbor toward the LGBTQ community, in spite of all the progress that has occurred in the US.

My thoughts are first and foremost with the victims of this attack and their loved ones.  But I also worry about the ripple effects yet to come.  Hate often begets more hate, and I worry that more innocent people may suffer.  Because the attacker was Muslim--and particularly because we've been exposed to a very nasty stream of rhetoric from politicians recently--I fear that distrust and prejudice toward Muslims in the US will grow.  Syria, a country where I lived for one year and still care deeply about, has been embroiled in a civil war for five years now.  There has been much discussion in the US and elsewhere about what to do with the refugees from that conflict--where they should go, which countries should take how many in, etc.  I worry that our openness to helping others--including possibly admitting refugees--will suffer as a ripple effect from this horrible incident.  I hope that in the midst of our fear and anger that we can remember to view each person as an individual, and remember that there are sometimes very compelling reasons to extend compassion.

Here's hoping for healing for the people of Orlando and better, happier times for all.

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