Monday, April 18, 2005

A new journey of journaling

I have always wanted to start a journal of some kind. A place where I could dump some overly serious brain usage onto some white space with minimal worry or guilt. I have always had an active mind in that it is constantly working on some piece of information that flew in either arbitrarily or directly. It's the arbitrary ones that usually have me worked up by the end of the day. The ones that may not really affect me personally but appeal to my emotion or sense of reason.

Kind of like the anniversary of the Murrah building bombing here in Oklahoma City. I wasn't hurt or injured in the bombing, no relatives killed or injured not even an acquaintance of an acquaintance. So why would I even have an opinion on the subject? Well, because it happened in my back yard, per se, and it very well could have hurt me. The person (or persons) who planted the bomb (or bombs) that destroyed that building also destroyed something else in people that were not physically touched by it. They destroyed their sense of security. For months and for some even years they couldn't let their children out of their sight for even a fraction of a second for fear of losing them. They looked upon any stranger and any suspicious vehicle with a sense of distrust and even apathy.

The tearing down of trust among people and communities is in my opinion one of the worst effects and probably one of the top priorities of terrorism. The dead may be mourned, the injured may heal, but trust is something that keeps a city, state, or nation tied together. It is the glue of our society, and when it is compromised it causes us to look upon our neighbors with suspicion and malice. Fortunately, in the case of Oklahoma City there was such an outpouring of assistance not only from within the community, but also from other parts of the nation that our sense of trust may have been somewhat bolstered by the event. We as a community came together and in many cases started for the first time to actually go out into our communities to get to know our neighbors; if not for the simple reason that we learned we must rely on each other in such a tragedy. So, the terrorist has motives that in some cases become turned on them in the end.

We see this happening in Iraq more often. I have read several accounts of Iraqi citizens, fed up with these insurgents, taking matters into their own hands. An article recently recounted that several citizens of a Baghdad community killed some insurgents and wounded several others because they were tired of them shooting at passing cars and innocent people. These citizens fear finally morphed into anger and eventually action. The insurgents in Iraq should beware.

In Oklahoma City, terrorism brought our community closer. I believe Oklahomans are friendly and helpful anyway, but we can also at times be wary or suspicious of those we are not familiar with. After the Murrah bombing, many of us made it a point to reach out to our community and become involved with our neighbors and cities. This creates a community that is trusting yet secure because when someone or something threatens it, the word gets spread very quickly and our authorities are better supported in dealing with the threat.

Terrorism will eventually be defeated. It may take decades and many of our service members will pay the ultimate price for defending our nation against it. But I think terrorism's ultimate demise may not lay in the plans of generals but in the hearts of citizens. Humans everywhere will eventually realize that the terrorist is not a militant. That their actions have no real target but our psyches. And this will eventually make the terrorist the ultimate target. They will eventually become the bane of societies around the globe. Radicalism in any aspect of society will remain, hopefully the belief that only violence will further their cause will cease to exist.

These are the thoughts and meanderings of a common citizen. Thank you for letting me share them.

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