I was listening to a talk radio show where the host made an interesting point about why the incident in Pakistan hadn’t received as much media attention as the attacks in Paris or Brussels recently. His point, which is truly tragic, is that as Americans we can relate rather well to our European allies but when it comes to people and places that are different from us we are less likely to mourn or be as upset.
A week ago there was a primary election in our state that saw the unfortunate miscalculation of the State Recorder when it came to how many polling options would be available. The news last Tuesday was that some waited as long as five hours to vote. Yes, many were distraught and upset with the why question as to how we could only have 60 polling places open for the 5th largest city in the US. There has been picketing and a real vocal protest as to the why of what happened. I seriously hope no one is going to get violent over this situation!
A few months ago a drug deal had gone ‘south’ and saw a cousin of a good friend end up in the morgue. Clearly the message should be don’t deal drugs nor use them, yet, the real message is when you carry a weapon with the intent to use it something could happen to you! I seriously doubt this cousin thought he would be the one that would be robbed and then shot and killed that night!
I know that the ongoing rants in the presidential race come back to how violence can so easily be provoked in such a fashion that the candidates seem to always cast blame on someone else. Why would anyone ‘sucker punch’ a stranger just because they happen to have differing views on a specific candidate or position? Yet, the reality is that it doesn’t take much for a ‘mob’ mentality to take over and someone who would have never thought that free speech also meant one could end up with a broken nose?
As I was looking for an image to use for this post I came across a graphic that had the message that prevention came back to awareness of the problem, education that then leads to prevention. I so much would hope that it would be this easy to deal with violence in today’s world. Ultimately, it comes back to the issue being a matter of your heart! How you view life and whether all lives have equal value? Yes, sadly many of us don’t value all life equally whether that is an unborn life, a handicapped person, someone from a different racial or cultural background to someone who is close to the end of their life that is living in a nursing home.
What is the heart in a man, woman, child, teen or senior? What causes someone to grow an appreciation for all live as opposed to someone who has a real hatred for a specific group of people whether that’s based upon race, religion, education or just the simple fact that someone doesn’t like the way you look? Is it possible for all people regardless of race, religion or lack of religion to share similar values about life? How is it possible for the aging Fidel Castro to blast President Obama about life matters when it’s clear that Cubans have lived under oppression for decades?
The reality is that I have a heart that is broken because of my choices in life when it comes to being someone that should value all life and have integrity as the foundation for my life. I admit that I’m selfish and at times truly believe that I’m better than others have clearly better intellect and attempt to excel at doing community service! My clear need is for my heart to experience God’s redeeming love when I understand my own personal dilemma that involves my own alienation from God and need for being forgiven and restored as someone that lives out grace and mercy. Yet, I’m so quick to judge someone else for their selfishness or narcissism instead of gazing into the mirror of my own heart.
I appreciate so much the following verse from the book of Proverbs that shows the conscious choice we must make daily to guard our hearts! Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23