I think that I can say with great certainty that almost everyone, at least in the United States, can recall where they were on September 11, 2001. Many of us watched in horror as the Twin Towers crumbled and thousands of innocent people died in one of the most horrific terror attacks in history.
Prior to 9/11 there were dozens of terror attacks against the United States all on foreign soil except the February 26, 1993, bombing of the World Trade Center, that killed seven and wounded 1,042. Since then our nightly news feeds have been filled with reports of shootings, bombings, riots and terror attacks. So much so that some psychologist believe that many of us are becoming “desensitized” or less emotionally impacted, to news of terror.
Violence is becoming so frequent in our media and that coupled with immediate access to a dynamic and vigorous stream of news due to the rise in technology creates an unemotional connection to these violent events. The more exposure people have to these actions without being personally involved leaves them less emotionally impacted. The unfortunate result of this is that we pay less attention to our surroundings, we are less likely to stop and help someone, and we become less empathetic.
Why do I bring this up? Why broach this subject? Why shine a light on terror and death? Because it pains me to know that innocent children are killed by people who do not value life. Because my heart aches for the parents who have to bury a child. Because I think we all need to pay more attention. Because terrorism will likely happen again in this country, a country that I love so much. Because I think we can all do a better job of looking out for each other. That being said, I invite you to slow down enough to notice and be aware of what is going on in the world, in our country, in our communities, in our neighborhoods, and in our families. With rare exception each time one of these tragic acts of violence occurs – after the dust settles – someone steps forward and says that they had suspicions about the perpetrator of the crime or that there were signs that led up to the act. Be attentive to what is going on around you. If you see something, say something. Don’t let your heart be hardened by these unnecessary and evil acts.