“Senseless” (revisited) – Barcelona and Charlotte Tragedies

Regretfully, there is another senseless tragedy giving us pause. As today’s headlines unfolded, we heard of another hateful act of violence, this time in Barcelona–another just the other day in Charlottesville. These attacks against the innocent are unacceptable and go against all rational thought. The fact that we must attend to the impact of such hurtful actions is offensive. Once again, we are placed in the position of trying to make sense of the unthinkable while also trying to maintain our compassion and stay calm. As always, our hearts go out to the victims and those impacted by this pointless violence, and as I often share, I have no words.

As I contemplate today’s tragedy, I’d like to re-share some thoughts that followed the killings in Orlando last year.  A similar tragedy in its maliciousness, irrationality, and hateful roots. Unfortunately, just one of many heartbreaking attacks in our recent history that force us all to look at our society, ourselves, and find strength during trying times.

From our previous post…
I have to question if being compassionate is enough.  Shouldn’t there be some action that comes from this tragedy?  Kind words and well wishes are a natural response, and I know we all truly mean well. When we send prayers and well-wishes. When we hope for the sadness of their loved ones to pass. When we encourage healing and the return of our sense of safety.  I have to question if all those good intentions lead to an impact of any sort. What do our “hopes” after a tragedy actually provide? 

Let’s be brutally honest for just a moment. This latest act of senseless violence is not only tragic, it’s intolerable. For that matter, so are all the senseless deaths that came before this.  Maybe we should not make effort to understand, mostly because it’s unnecessary and unjust.  This killing was a purely selfish act of hatred. An act put upon others with no regard for human life, moral judgement or decency.  There is no rational way to explain it. No intelligent way to understand it.  No emotional way to reconcile it.  There is no sense in the senseless.  It’s just wrong.

I will not give the assailant or terrorist group (“murderer” and far less kind titles come to mind), the value of recognition. They lack importance. There is no value in this action. This is far less than we all deserve.  Let us not try to understand the attackers, give them attention, or unintentionally offer those that align with these actions validation of any kind.  This was an ignorant attack on life and our humanity.  Any focus on them dishonors the victims here. They is vastly outnumbered by the good of us.

So how about this time, we make an effort at “doing” better. Counter horrible action with good. Yes, I want us all to be kind, open-minded, and positive. But we also need to act on those ideals. Do things that are tangible: Donate blood; offer face to face support; teach your children well; make new friends; call out and counter hate; advocate for positive causes; and take to the streets in support of the best in all of us. Seek out ways to make a positive impact and get involved in your community.

More than 80 people were injured today and as of this post 13 had lost their lives to this tragedy. Let us honor them by being better.

– Peter  


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