By Gary R’Nel
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — My center of gravity was moved like shifting tectonic plates this week in reaction to the news that 132 children were ambushed and murdered by the Taliban at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan. In an email, the terror group warned parents to avoid places with military ties to the Pakistani government.A majority of the students attacked were from civilian families attending the school.
Also this week, two car bombs killed 20 children in Yemen when suspected Al Qaeda fighters targeted Houthi militants. One bomb missed its intended target and instead blew up next to a bus carrying those innocent young lives. All the children killed were under the age of 12.
On my nightly radio show I queried my listeners as to whether or not this news emotionally or psychologically affected their lives in any capacity. Did they think about the harsh reality of losing 152 children for no other reason than unmitigated insanity and its connection to fundamentalism? A majority of callers were truthful with me saying that while they felt for the victims and their families, they were preoccupied with their own lives and holiday gift shopping this week. Almost all admitted it was tragic, but far removed from our everyday lives in America.
At the conclusion of that show I simply could not dismiss the Bobby McFerrin song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” and its application to the psyche of many Americans when reacting to tragedy far from the homeland.
To hear the parents of these 152 children wailing and immersed in despondency over their loss is something that lives within my conscience in avery tangible and durable capacity. While I do not know how to stop these fanatical maniacs from taking innocent lives, I do know that Americans and the global community need to loudly and vociferously protest this wanton disregard for human life.
The alternative is “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”