“We used to wonder where war lived, what it was that made it so vile. And now we realize that we know where it lives. . .inside ourselves.” — Albert Camus.
In California, a six-month-old baby girl cries for her parents. Waits, for a mother and father who will never come.
She is a victim of the San Bernadino, California mass shootings. An orphan of her parents’ violence. An innocent, whose only crime was being born to a disturbed, hate-driven couple. Parents who abandoned their infant daughter in order to wage war on 31 innocent people at an office holiday party.
Two days ago, on a sunny California day, they lost the final battle in a street shootout with police and FBI agents. What they left behind were many unanswered questions and a dark family history for their infant daughter to sort out one day. Pity the person who will share that history with her when she gets older. Try to help her make sense of it, if that’s possible.
Maybe, though, she’ll be lucky. Maybe she will receive the love and support she needs to live a normal life. The strength to resist the temptation for revenge. The wisdom to choose happiness and forgiveness over perpetuating her parents’ legacy.
That, I believe, is where it starts. Where it must start if we are to stem the flow of violence around the world. Lose our appetite for killing.
Right now, the orphaned child is an unfulfilled promise. She is like any other child anywhere in the world. An innocent who deserves what everyone deserves. A set of loving parents. Birthday parties. Friends.
“Peace is the only battle worth waging.” – Albert Camus
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