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Is This Our New Normal?

“The key point here is for all of us to realize that terrorist acts, whether domestic or foreign are acts of cowardice. We as a nation cannot succumb to them and let them prevail. Our complacency is our worst enemy.”

“The key point here is for all of us to realize that terrorist acts, whether domestic or foreign are acts of cowardice. We as a nation cannot succumb to them and let them prevail. Our complacency is our worst enemy.”

By Farida Hasanali

To say the world has changed would certainly be an understatement. Who would have thought that violence would plague our streets, our homes, and our backyards so frequently?  I have several friends from the Middle East; I remember talking to them about how they grew up. “War was our normal,” said one of them. “When you hear bullets, you just run in the opposite direction.” She said it so calmly as if it meant nothing. Her stance was they didn’t know any other way. They were born during the war and lived during it. It wasn’t until they migrated to the United States that they learned the meaning of peace.

For those of who have lived a fair portion of their lives in the US, we were used to the opposite. For us peace was our normal. Wars always happened in other lands, our soldiers went to fight in other countries, and we only saw pictures on television. Yes, we had terrorist incidents prior to 9/11/2001 but their scale was relatively smaller. After 9/11 however terror and violence seems to be our new normal.

In the past 6-8 months, there have been several significant events of violence. Let’s start with the theatre shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Seventy people were wounded and 12 of them died, the youngest, a three month fetus whose mother was critically injured. The Newton School shooting is still fresh in everyone’s mind. Twenty children and six adults lost their lives. The killer had murdered his mother before coming to the school and he shot himself when the first responders arrived on the scene.

For us in Texas, we are still struggling with the news of our District Attorney and Sheriff being shot point blank in the face. We have to be extra cautious now to even walk out our own front doors.  Two days ago, a vigilant mailman spotted a suspicious package and was able to deflect a bomb being delivered to the Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona.

This past weekend a man shot himself to death during the NRA 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway. No reason has been uncovered.

And now the bomb blasts at the Boston marathon!!! Monday, April 15, 2013 is a holiday in Boston. It’s Patriots Day; the day celebrates all the selfless men who fought for our country. The biggest celebration is the marathon. It draws over 27.000 runners and approximately 500,000 viewers and guests from all over the world. Two hours into the marathon, two bombs exploded in buildings close to the finish line. So far three people have died and 140 are injured. The number of injured continues to rise as the day goes on.  No motive has been discovered yet, no political motive, no claim from any terrorist organization in the world.

Is this truly our new normal? Are we getting desensitized to this news and behaving just like we would on any other day? On the one hand, fear is our biggest enemy. What the wrong-doers want is to scare us like they did with 9/11. They want to scare us into killing our economy and our world prowess. Who knows…they might be succeeding. 9/11 nearly killed our country and today the Dow dropped 200 points as soon as the Boston news was released.

The key point here is for all of us to realize that terrorist acts, whether domestic or foreign are acts of cowardice. We as a nation cannot succumb to them and let them prevail. Our complacency is our worst enemy. We cannot look away, someone else is not going to take care of it for us; WE are going to have to.  We need to get to the point where we can stand together and shout with one voice to end this violence before our complacency erodes it all.

Freelance1

A freelance writer for the past 10 years,  Farida Hasanali leverages her writing skills to increase awareness of social issues and causes, and everyday challenges our community members feel as part of two distinct cultures. In her day job, Hasanali is a Knowledge & Program Manager for BP’s Remediation Management Division.

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One Response to Is This Our New Normal?

  1. Ashish April 18, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Well, we all realize that terrorist acts are not good, and that we should not be complacent (not sure what that means). But any insight into how to overcome the complacency or not succumb as an individual and and as a nation?

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