[Powderworks] Fall or Rise... (Another WTC thread)
Tue, 18 Sep 2001 20:36:10 -0800
You hit on the head exactly what I am thinking and feeling. I even
had the lyric, "You can fall, or you can rise," in my
head several times over the last few days.
Our own country is the only thing that we can influence,
if even that. And we must get out the message that we
don't want to be a nation that sinks into a cycle of violence,
either with others around the world or amongst ourselves.
With weapons of horrific power in existence, the stakes
are too great. This is our time, and we must act against
the vicious cycle. I want my nieces and nephews, and their
kids as well and so on..., to be able to live and prosper.
That last sentence used to sound like a bit of a cliche, but
now I am feeling it so vibrantly. There is nothing abstract
Writing Congressmembers and President and Governor and newspapers is all
I can think of doing. What else can we do?
Get the message out...
Gerald McDowell (by way of Gerald McDowell ) wrote:
> Hiya all,
> I guess a lot of Powderworkers are sick of hearing about this, so I'd advise
> you to just delete this message if that's the case.
> I just wanted to weigh in with my thoughts about the past week's events. I
> hardly know where to begin, though.
> A few minutes after the second plane hit the towers, I was watching the
> coverage on the TV at work. As we stood looking at the screen, my first
> thought was of compassion for the victims and their families. My second
> thought was, "There's going to be a lot of Arab-bashing." In recent days,
> I've been sickened, not only by the depth of suffering endured by the
> victims, their families, and the brave recuse workers (both professional and
> civilian), but by the accuracy of my prediction.
> The stories of innocent Arab and Muslim people being persecuted have in many
> ways left me more disgusted that the cowardly acts in New York, Washington
> and Pennsylvania. Most of these people have come to this land for the same
> reasons as any other group of people; to escape persecution or make a good
> living. Isn't it great that there are places in this world where people can
> do that? We who live in such places should come to appreciate what we have,
> to have been born in such places and times. Most of the Arabs and Muslims in
> the US have had to leave their countries, their homes, and often other loved
> ones because they weren't the "right" ethnic group, because they spoke a
> little too loudly for the side of justice and tolerance, or because they
> wished to escape desperate poverty and give their children better lives. To
> have come to their new homes only to be faced with hatred because of where
> they came from reflects poorly upon us, to put it mildly.
> I cannot condone the use of violence by the guilty parties, but the fact is
> that they did have legitimate complaints with US policies. The US has rigged
> elections, assassinated leaders and sold arms to anybody who wasn't a
> Communist for decades, not only in the Middle East. Virtually every dictator
> and terrorist in the Middle East has had US sponsorship or been created by
> events that the US government set in motion. Now those facts will be lost in
> a sea of nationalistic gibberish. The truth will be buried further, all due
> to the endless cycle of violence and recrimination. Once the terrorists
> murdered all those people, they ruined their cause, perhaps forever.
> The people of the United States must not succumb to this bloodlust. Its
> allies must help as well, before they are drawn into the conflict. Like the
> song says, "You can fall, or you can rise." It is up to us, to decide if we
> want to sink to the animal level, to drive ourselves into a killing frenzy,
> to become what we hated, with a different set of gods and ideals being the
> only difference. Or will we overcome this tragedy. Will we show compassion
> for those who have lost their lives, for those who have been injured, for
> those who have lost loved ones, even see past our anger to show compassion
> for the debt of karma inflicted upon those who committed these acts. Will we
> show our "enemies", and indeed ourselves, that they will not and cannot stand
> in the way of what we are and more importantly, of what we can become.
> I've seen many things to bring pride in my country in the last week. I've
> seen images of firefighters and police giving their lives, their sweat and
> their time, all selflessly. I've heard reports that the Red Cross has been
> swamped with efforts of assistance, to the point that they have had to turn
> people away. I've heard of staggering donations given in small timeframes.
> But many acts of past days have made me ashamed to share soil with their
> perpetrators. The bloodlust that has gripped this nation truly belies the
> notion of the US being a compassionate nation. The racism and blind hate in
> the face of ignorance and justifiable, though misguided, anger have left me
> with despair for what could have and should have been a truly great country.
> Even my best friend has expressed sentiments that have left me thinking that
> I might not have a best friend any more.
> It is my sincere hope that the guilty parities will be brought to justice,
> that the US will improve its defensive measures to avoid tragedies like this
> from reoccuring, and that all our people will come to realize that actions
> are the true test of a human's character, rather than where they were born or
> what religion (if any) they hold. Violence will bring nothing but more of
> the same, dooming us all to endless suffering, endless hate for the crimes of
> old, and unending blindness to the true nature of humanity.
> "Karma is a boomerang, here it comes again...
> Feels like the country's just going 'round the bend
> Spirit of the Age is coming home..."
> --Midnight Oil
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