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How Many More?

The song "Ohio" by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young asks the question "How many more?" And that question is on the minds of so many of us again today, after another weekend of senseless hate, violence and tragedy. I've posted this piece several times, but unfortunately, it remains current. I don't know what else to do, so I keep putting it out there. We must take care of one another, be kind to one another and respect all.

I want to be safe.

And I want my family and my friends to be safe. I also want you to be safe, whoever you are. Whether you’re young or old. Regardless of your beliefs, race, upbringing, where you live or your socioeconomic status.

Whether you’re civilian, law enforcement, or military. Employed, a student, between jobs, or homeless.

Insured or uninsured. Male or female. Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist.

Gay. Bi. Straight. Trans. Questioning. He. She. They. Blue collar or white collar. Democrat, Republican, Independent, Communist, or Libertarian.

Religious? Pro- “this” or anti- “that”? No? Not sure? Doesn’t matter to me.

I want you to be safe. And healthy.

I also want you to be healthy, healthy enough to safely and productively share what you feel and believe, your thoughts and fears. But also, healthy enough to make others feel safe by listening to their thoughts, fears, and beliefs in a productive way.

Nothing is perfect, and no one is perfect. We will never have everything we want, all we need, and we’ll never agree on everything. That’s not what life and this world are about. Besides, that would be boring, wouldn’t it?

But everyone, everyone, has the right to feel safe: in public, in their neighborhoods, in their homes, everywhere they go.

Everyone. Everywhere.

We should be able to go through our days without fear, and communicate and interact with one another without worry that something bad will happen to us, possibly something over which we have no control.

In other words, safety in its purest form and observed and honored by all, is peace.

But all too often in our world, that safety—that peace—doesn’t just happen. It needs a push, a catalyst, a spark, a ray of hope.

Maybe it’s idealistic, and I know this drum has been beaten innumerable times, but when we stop letting our differences separate us and use them to work for us—for all of us—we reach productive solutions, not perfect ones, but ones that keep us moving forward.

This is us, and we need to use our differences and the diversity of our skills, knowledge, experience and wisdom as a human—and humane—population to figure out in a civil and peaceful way how not only to feel safe, but to be safe. That is, and should remain, our focus because that is our inalienable, absolute right.

Today. And every day.

Be safe today, and help others feel safe as well. Peace. And thank you for your time.

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