A few years ago my best friend ran the Boston Marathon. She came back glowing, proud that she’d qualified, amazed by the crowds and energized by the feeling of community. Never once did she think that she could have died from a bomb exploding at the finish line.
America seems to be facing tragedy after tragedy. From the Aurora shootings, to Sandy Hook Elementary, to the Boston Marathon bombings, each time our leaders raise their voices to shout valiantly from the rooftops: “We are Americans! We will get to the bottom of this! Someone has to pay!”
After the trumpet fare, the media shark fest, the cry to bear arms, the harassment of those who suffer most in exchange for hype, the advocacy groups jumping onto their soapboxes, and a general roar for someone to do something … nothing seems to get done.
More money gets spent. More anger and bitterness follows. More arms are waved in the air, more mouths are opened, more fragmentation and fear characterize the fabric of our society, laced with the abject terror of stepping outside our front doors to say hello to our neighbors. We hide behind our shuttered windows. We barricade our doors and teach our children to be afraid.
We believe down to our very core that the answer to our problems is to punish our way out of them.
As a backdrop to the real-life tragedy that’s playing out again and again before our eyes, our leaders still shout from the mountain tops. An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth.
Einstein once said, “the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again, expecting a different result.”
Are we as Americans, addicted to being insane?
My heart goes out to those who were killed or hurt today. But unfortunately, I suspect America has more tragedies of this sort to face in the near future. A shooting here. A bombing there. Another loved one dies. Another person pays our price.
As we spin into a globalized future that’s filled with increasing violence as an almost commonplace event and not the relatively rare occurrences Americans are used to, the question isn’t so much anymore how we’re going to stop this from happening.
The question is more like this. How are we going to accept that we are exactly the same as the rest of the world, and have nothing more to hide behind?
Natasha Deonarain is the founder of The Health Conscious Movement. She is the author of The 7 Principles of Health and can be reached on Twitter @HealthMovement.