A Time for Peace

A Time for Peace

The Peace Statue in front of the Capitol building was built to honor those who died in the Civil War. It remains relevant today, as Americans continue to fight against each other.

 

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

My Wednesday morning Metro ride to work seemed quieter than usual. Worried faces gazed intently at their phones, scrolling through CNN and Fox News headlines. Even though not many people ever talk on early morning Metro rides, it was even more apparent that day.

 

Thirty minutes prior, a baffling revelation hit the news: Congressman Steve Scalise, a representative from Louisiana, was shot in Arlington earlier that morning.

 

The shooting occurred at a baseball practice where several Republican congressmen were preparing for the Congressional Baseball Game, taking place the following day. Scalise was injured along with five other people. Fortunately, none of the victims were killed.

 

It's not uncommon to hear about shootings and other deadly events on the news. Every day, I see different reports of attacks and horrific incidents where innocent people are injured or killed. Bad things happen all the time, and they can happen anywhere. That's why many of us - especially suburban millennials like myself -- are immune to the devastation that shootings cause when we see them on TV; it seems like a world away from us.

 

But when it happens in your own backyard, that's when it starts to take your breath away.

 

One of the most unsettling things about the shooting was that it was politically-driven. It's not only a shame to see citizen bipartisanship crumble to violence, it's a disgrace. Brutality should never replace ideals representing peaceful protest and cooperative mediation. It degrades American politics to a fear-mongering campaign against ourselves.

 

That's why it's important - now more than ever - to show we love we each other.

 

Growing up a Quaker - a Protestant sect of Christianity more aptly named the Religious Society of Friends - their values of pacifism and understanding were a priority for me. And when I attended Quaker school in my youth, I was taught that when horrific acts of aggression took place, we have to realize what we're grateful for. We also have to show that hate isn't the proper cure to animosity, but proper understanding and caring for everyone around you - that's when progress is made.

 

I encourage everyone reading this to hug their loved ones and show them that you care. Be kind to those around you, whether they're close friends or complete strangers. Random acts of kindness can go even farther than random acts of violence.

 

(Image courtesy of Flickr)


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