A few days ago I was waiting in line at the bank, watching the captioned newscast on the TV they have hanging over the lineup.
It was showing one of the many conflicts in the Middle East, I don’t remember which one. Suddenly the woman ahead of me, who appeared to be an ordinary, bleach-blonde suburban housewife type, turned to me and said, “They should just drop an atomic bomb on the whole lot of them.”
I was aghast with horror. I very reasonably replied that would kill an awful lot of innocent people. Her answer to that was “They’re living in misery anyway.”
I am neither quick-witted enough, nor forthright enough, to have been able to answer in the manner she deserved in such a public venue. I should have said, shouted, raged that those ordinary people, who want nothing more than to raise their families in relative safety and comfort, deserve peace, not a violent, fiery death.
My encounter with that woman has left a niggle of horror in the pit of my stomach. If a very ordinary, ignorant woman, in a relatively safe and peaceful corner of the world, can think like that, with what would appear to be no twinge of the conscience, is there any hope for peace in this world?
Is it any wonder that people like Hitler and ISIS warriors can exist and thrive in the global society?
Our battle against the violent intolerance that is gnawing at our world must begin with the erradication of such egotistical ignorance. We must learn to see and feel the world from the viewpoints of our cousins from all the cultures of our fractured humanity.
I suppose I should pity that woman trapped in her narrow-minded unenlightenment, but in actuality, I fear her.