Fear Follows Us Daily as Violence Rages in US
Fear swept through our communities once again as breaking news of bombings in New York City and New Jersey and a stabbing in a mall in Minnesota on September 17 unfolded.
The status of the victims and the pain of the community are often overshadowed by the consistent search to uncover whether or not the perpetrator was linked to terrorism or showed any evidence of having sympathetic terrorist leanings. In short, it seems that what sells in the media is our own fear.
In the post-9/11 world, “terrorism” and “terrorist” are words we hear and read often. Fear is present in the unknown. Coming out of one of the most violent summers for gun violence on record, fear seems to follow us daily both at home and abroad. I find myself reflecting on these words and how divisive they can be, but do words also hold the power to unite and bring reconciliation?
The National Catholic Reporter recently launched a campaign to delve into the questions of peace called “Making Peace.” This series will “explore the topics of peace and nonviolence.” Through this, NCR understands that the world is in need of positive media coverage, stories of triumph, love, compassion, and perseverance in the face of adversity.
Drawing Out a Desire to Work Together
Words such as bombing, stabbing, and terrorism, illicit fear. Following this fear, many might find themselves closed off in order to protect themselves. Yet words such as peace, unity, and understanding can draw out a desire to work together, to problem solve, and to work toward solutions to benefit the common good for all of our communities.
Word Choice Matters
With the ability to stir-up emotion, word choice matters whether we are speaking, writing, or reading. As our news outlets are continually plagued with tragedies, division, and pain, it is important to join together as communities to speak with loving respect and in appreciation of our diversity of backgrounds, ethnicities, races, cultures, beliefs, and more. I commend NCR for their efforts to shine light on the effectiveness of peace and nonviolence as well as the influence the media has through words and stories. We must continue to challenge our own fears and work to transform those fears into avenues to unite our communities and our world. Peace can prevail.