I am not Paris. I am not Lebanon. I was New York.

40 people killed in Lebanon’s bombing Thursday. A still-being-counted number of dead in the Paris attacks last night.

I was in Manhattan on 9/11, within the shut-down zone. I know some of what goes through your head, how your heart races, and your brain is never quite the same afterward. And I know that there is a cry to DO SOMETHING, to STOP THEM. But we can’t bring fear and violence on that enemy and win, because their entire goal is to force us to violence.

(we should have learned this already)

The moment we let fear and anger override compassion and sense, we fail. In that failure, we’ve set the stage for a repeat, the return of an enemy who has no nation, has no civilians to protect, has no goal except to drag us down into the same pit of hate and loss they have chosen to reside in.  Hate, masquerading as righteousness.

I don’t know how to break that cycle. But I know that we have to.

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