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How to Fight Terrorism

Again my heart goes out to the people who have lost loved ones in the violence done by white supremacists, religious extremists and all those who are convinced they have identified the true enemy. My heart goes out to first responders who will be traumatized by the images of destruction. It is outrageous that so few  can  destroy so many. The appetite for revenge is primal but revenge will not solve this problem.

So how can we fight that instinct to keep blowing up the blown apart?  Invest in peaceful, healing initiatives that make violence redundant.

1. Invest in mental health services to give those at risk the help they need before their illness isolates them from society.

2. Re-establish the primary needs of people - shelter, nutritious food, education, living wages and time for family.

3. Support families by providing health services, family planning, women's reproductive education.

4. Sex education that covers the real experiences of young men and women on top of the scientific knowledge about human sexuality.

5. Encourage children to develop a social conscience by listening to what they think, to honour their ideas and to talk about the world of economics and politics in a way that helps them grow into engaged citizens. This can be done at dinner times or other regular times that the family is together.

6. Value life before profit and power. Look people in the eye, take time to listen, take time to care no matter how small the offering may be.

7. Welcome refugees - they are in crisis and people in crisis can recover if others help them find peace. The earth is more than just real estate - it is home.

8. Give up the notion that competition is the only way we become better people. Competition might help us improve at sports, and certain skills but a life dedicated to "winning" is limited to egocentric obsession and narrows the world view.

Terrorism begins with  the idea that power is a zero sum game. That the intrinsic value of our lives depends on proving ourselves. Proving to be capable is worthy but when society is written out of our experience we learn to see our worth in comparison to others, in how much we earn and what we own. If being great depends on oppressing others who have less power, or making more money or up-selling products, we have disposed of our human values such as art, music, analysis, care, nurture, problem-solving and the building of sustainable futures.

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