The following day, yesterday, I received a news alert I wasn't immediately startled by. President Obama condemned how "routine" mass shootings have become. Indeed, 2015 has been the worst year for such horrors in the United States; America has six times as many firearm homicides as Canada, and 15 times as many as Germany; and despite repetitive arguments, armed civilians do not stop them from happening. I encourage you to watch the President's statement below. He's angry and frustrated, too.
This past weekend, I finished Secret Son, a hauntingly beautiful read by Laila Lalami (thank you, Little Free Library). It has an engaging albeit fictional storyline, but I was most interested in how it reflected "the desperation that grips ordinary lives in a world divided by class, politics, and religion"--very much a characteristic of the modern condition in Morocco... and everywhere else.
Our reality weighs heavily on my heart. My childhood friend recently had a baby boy, and my excitement to meet him is stained by guilt at the world he has so innocently entered. I worry we've become too disconnected, too numb, too untrusting. In that "debate" I mentioned having at a cozy bar in Amsterdam, Lorelei and I tried to explain the individualism at the core of American identity; how it's responsible, as we believe, for our economic success, revolutionary inventions, powerful global standing, and increasingly unacceptable social ills. "Our thoughts and prayers are not enough," President Obama declared; I'm afraid mere kindness isn't either.