when reflection is not enough

thoughts. perspectives. dreams.

No victory in violence

Ten years it has been since the lives of 2,996 people ended in attacks that continue to dominate our psyche. Ten years it has been since the world underwent a transformation from an era of positivity and possibility into a new age of vigilance and wariness. Ten years it has been since the War on Terror began, a conflict that in substance has done little but to compound the psychological effect of the attacks.

There is no problem with the intent of an effort to purge the world through whatever means necessary to rid the world of extremist organisations in order to prevent the loss of innocent lives. The prosecution of this effort, however, has so far been demonstrated to be ignorant, immoral and ineffective. New laws, new police powers, and new military “contingency operations” can help prevent an act of terrorism from being successful, but they are not a pathway to success. Something will always slip through the net.

Ultimately, such a war can only be won by eliminating support for extremism, destroying its root. By exposing the ideology of our enemies as incompatible with our human nature, and its capacity for understanding and compassion. Through interfaith dialogue, and displays of solidarity between people of different cultures. We can severely weaken the point extremists wish to make. We cannot fight fire with fire, but we can certainly douse it, eliminate the air fire needs.

It is essential that we grasp this point now. Our approach must be adjusted as soon as possible to prevent unnecessary loss of life.

Because when it comes to this new kind of warfare, there is no victory in violence.

Life, are you listening to me?

Life, I have some questions for you about the game that you make us all play. I want you to answer them honestly. My body is exhausted, but there’s no way I’ll be able to sleep until you tell me the truth.

So. Why have you dealt me these cards? I’m going through them again and again. I’m reordering and rearranging them over and over. No full houses. No flushes. Not even a three-of-a-kind. My mind is a blur. Sometimes I think I can conjure a straight, before I realise that I’ve deluded myself into thinking that six is a nine. Surely you know that the person who misses by an inch suffers more pain than the person who misses by a mile?

Life, I asked around as well. No-one in the game has anything better than a two pair. Why did you do this? I also cheated and looked at their cards. You know, it turns out that one guy has all the cards I need to complete my potential hands. What did you do that for? In my frustration, I tried to take those cards that I needed. You were prepared for that. Somehow, inexplicably, they’re slipping through my fingers again and again. Of course — you tampered with them. I have to admit, even from the depths of my anger: well-played.

But wait a second. Life, are you listening to me? Can you even hear me? I’m shouting as loud as I can, but I’m not getting an answer from you. 

Okay. Fine — who am I kidding? I know you can’t hear me. You don’t want to hear me. You never wanted to hear anyone else. You were cold and callous to them, and they crashed to the ground, never to rise again.

And I do know the answer to the question I asked you. You enjoy using your game to mess around with us. And that’s why so many of us hate you, Life. Because you don’t care. 

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