In the Presence of my Enemies

Over the last several weeks our people, our nation and our way of life have been attacked once more by individuals for some unknown reason. Whether it be in the name of Jihad, or to earn some delusional hope of glory, or if it was simply two idiots brainwashed into thinking they are doing something for the “greater” good. Whatever the motivation the bombing at the Boston Marathon brought back into focus our vulnerability, questioning once more the safety of our daily lives. When we thought we were safe, we were sharply drawn back into the place we left back in 2001 and once again the images of those great towers flood our minds with the horror of that day and the days to follow. So what do we do now? What are we to think?

I guess the best place to start is understanding that “evil” has been around for a long, long, time. For any of us to think that it will simply disappear because we want it to is ludicrous. Evil will be around until the Heavens and the Earth Melt away. Terrorists believe that they can influence a society by making that society believe that their next step could be their last, hence, forcing a standstill from life itself. They know that for them to win they need to intimidate the rest of us into giving up. Using the simple psychological principle of operant conditioning they will slowly but deliberately change our thinking into their desired result. It is not the bombs that will defeat us it is our fear of the unknown and that unknown is the most paralyzing for many.

Franklin D. Roosevelt once said that, “the only thing we need to fear is fear itself.” I agree with that statement. Although he said that quote in his 1932 Inaugural Address it still applies today! While he made that speech during the Great depression his words need to be heard right now. We have in this country many who call themselves “victims”, not from bombings or attacks from the outside but from a belief that they are entitled to received something from this government. In their minds they think they are the victim of some unfair system, party or group and they hope that if they scream loud enough they will be heard and spare themselves from the fear that they will become something they do not want. In essence they have given up, afraid of taking the next steps to pull themselves out of the mire they find themselves in.

Roosevelt was trying to rally the country from imploding. He knew that he could turn the country around by getting its people up and off the couch, so to speak, he could build a better tomorrow for us all, present and future people included. Another President some 30 years later would proclaim that we should, “ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” Again encouraging us to get up and fight back, not at petty differences among us but to “find the problems that unite us”. America will be as strong as its weakest link and as weak as it strongest chain. A chain made from cooperation, civility, compassion and understanding while working together to shape a strong union.

Now I know that this blog is primarily a photographers notebook but I felt I needed to address this snapshot that I see sweeping through this country. “A nation divided cannot stand” say the Bible and our enemies will never stop while we wring our hands. Stand up and fight and don’t let the fear of the unknown stop us….ever.


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