beirut letter from the editor

State of the World Today - Letter from the Editor

Sunday, November 15, 2015 Jen Lezan

This weekend, I had planned on releasing some entertainment posts. Yet, after all that occurred it just didn't feel right to share that kind of content. Yet, at the same time - not living life and seeing the beauty in the world is exactly what those engaging in terrorist acts would want. It also didn't feel right not to talk about what happened over the past few days.



While most post people come to halfstackmag.com for entertainment, we cover a wide variety of topics and as our readership has grown to reach a global perspective, we have steadily begun to include international topics, stories and features that touch people from all parts of the world. I feel like this weekend, I can't just give you entertainment to take your mind off of the realities of the world we live in. We have to talk about it, discuss it and also find a way to celebrate the kindness of the people in the world so that those who perished, didn't perish in vain.

The state of the world that we are currently living in is terrifying. I won't lie and there's no way to sugar coat it. I was watching in terror as news channels covered the Paris attacks this Friday that claimed 129 souls. The day before on Thursday, bombs detonated in Beirut and killed 43 people. Friday also saw another suicide blast and roadside bombing in Baghdad that murdered 26 more innocent people. There has been this debate going on about why there was not enough coverage and that we shouldn't be only focusing on Paris, but the world as a whole including places such as Beirut. I honestly feel that we are in a world today where we need to stop arguing over semantics and focus on loving each other. Let's not find another opportunity to fight, take sides or argue. Let's find common ground and begin to work on rebuilding.

We are in a world where people are dying every day. A world that scares me. A world that I am worried about my children growing up in. Despite the sadness and frustration I see. I still see beauty in the world. The beauty of the nation we live in, is that we have many freedoms. Some might disagree, but where else in the world can you freely practice your beliefs without fear of repercussions? I believe that there is beauty in our differences. There is much to learn from one another and yet, many of the ideas and beliefs we have are universal. Be kind to one another, the golden rule is an idea that I have instilled in my daughters since we could communicate. The idea of love is universal. The hurt and pain we feel crosses languages, borders and cultures. I don't think that by eliminating religion that we will make our problems go away. I don't believe that "tolerance" is the way to go either. People just "tolerating" their differences seems pointless. Why can't we learn to respect and honor our differences and appreciate one another, even if we don't believe the same thing?

Why can't we learn to love one another more rather than judge so quickly? There's a saying,
Don’t judge people for you never know what kind of battle they’re fighting. We need to find a way to love and teach our children to love each other as well. Everyday we see in the news that people are dying and being killed here in Chicago. We hear about bombings overseas. We give media attention to terrorists and we instill fear in the hearts of citizens trying to just get by. We need to give attention to the people doing good in this world. Those people who are giving peace a chance. Let's honor the unsung heroes who helped  those in paris, the nurses who put their lives on the line in war torn countries. People like Malala Yousafzi fighting for education and giving a voice to young girls who couldn't speak for themselves.

The best soldier fights without vengeance, without anger and without hate. He puts himself humbly
below his comrades, thereby eliciting the highest loyalty from them. This is the power of non-belligerence and cooperation. It is the ancient path to the Great Integrity - TAO


We need to take these moments as opportunities to love more. We need less hate today and tomorrow than we had yesterday. It only seems like things will get more difficult before they get better. Yet, we don't need the heartache and sadness to embitter us. Please don't turn your back on the world. Find a way to love. Take these moments to find the kindness and the beauty. Those are the things that should be remembered. In Paris, people opened doors to strangers. According to new stories, amidst the bloodbath, people helped and shielded one another. Instead of dying in fear, it was said people were remembering those they loved - silently whispering prayers and sending their love to those they feared they wouldn't see again. For some, they lived and yet there were those who perished. They didn't let fear engulf their heart at the end, they let love in. Let's raise up and honor those slain because of terrorism, because of war and fight back with love. 

Dr. Martin Luther King once said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." We need to take a stand and we need to fight hate with love, today tomorrow and forever. Don't give up, I know I won't. I owe it to my children to never give up. 

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