Paris. Beirut. Until now, I have chosen to remain absent from this conversation. What can I add? Almost every response I can think of rings hollow. So, I keep praying. I keep trying to say the right thing. The measured response. The response of love, not hate. All the while I have to acknowledge to myself that this present chaos is what I’ve come to expect as normal.
I grew up under the specter of terrorist attacks. When I was a child, the World Trade Center was attacked for the first time. Then there was Oklahoma City. Then West Paducah. Then Columbine. Then Jonesboro. Then the USS Cole. 9/11. Anthrax. London. Madrid. Paris. Beirut. Just to name a few.
A New Normal
Reflecting on this attack has made me realize – again – just how much of my life I’ve spent wondering when the next attack or copycat would pop up, or worse, if I was going to get caught up in the middle of it. And the irritating part of it isn’t so much that I’m afraid, but that I’ve accepted this. I’ve come to expect bickering politicians, asinine foreign policies, fractured public responses, and a lack of any real action as normal.
And between you and me, I’ve realized just how tired and angry that I am that this is normal.
But giving all of this a name, that’s good. I can work with that. Change it. Respond to it. Reject it. This is many things, but I’m done calling it “normal.”