There’s More than One Way to Win

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I missed posting my blog last week because of a difficult emergency eldercare trip to help my octogenarian parents. I returned to my mountaintop just before Paris exploded.

I hesitate to add another blog to the blogosphere about events in France but haven’t seen or heard this perspective, so am going to share it here.

The massacre is another tragedy on a global scale. And there will be more. Condolences to everyone affected by it—which, even in some small way, includes you if you’re reading this.

ISIS/ISIL thinks it won. And certainly, the West must do everything in its power to repel more attacks if possible. But every individual needs to prevent terrorists from scoring a secondary, more insidious victory.

first evening -- New Year's Eve! -- in Paris 030

We need to inform ourselves and grieve. But then we need to live. If we listen ad nauseam to talking heads babbling over and over again to raise ratings, ISIS wins a piece of us. The sadness and anger that accumulate in our hearts pollute our interactions with the people who matter most. Those whose lives we impact on a daily basis. I’ve seen this happen with people I love, who become unloving and hard to love because they’re so consumed by rage.

In these instances, the bad guys win, and their carnage is like a pebble dropped in a pond. The concentric circles just continue to become broader.

Despite godless men who destroy in the name of religion, or perhaps especially because of them, we can and should contribute and love and laugh and make our world a better place. And to do that, we turn it off—the radio, television or computer—after we know the facts.

There’s more at stake here than a stadium in Paris or an aircraft above Egypt or even the Twin Towers in New York. Freedom begins in the mind and the heart, and we have an obligation to protect both.

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