An Istanbul airport attacked, many souls have gone on… when will this end? How many times will we hear the same story in a different setting?
I woke up to hear yet another story of bombings and lives lost. A series of deadly explosions tore through crowds at the Atatürk airport in Istanbul on Tuesday, killing at least 41 and wounding approximately 239. As I sit here at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport filled with sounds that drown out your own, folks walking fast and hearing the pattering of their feet, and watching every single person on a smartphone with heads down including me, I am writing this to you. No wonder no one was able to see anything suspicious at the Atatürk airport. We don’t really ‘see’ ourselves or each other anymore. We can communicate easier–yet we ‘see’ less. We can send a video, text or message around the world as soon as we hit the ‘send’ button, but we do not notice the here and now– that is right in front of us.
I heard the Turkish officials have blamed the attack on Islamic State. According to the Turkish authorities, three gunmen armed with AK-47 rifles engaged security and police in a firefight near the airport’s x-ray security checkpoint then detonated suicide vests. Thirteen foreigners were among the dead. It is important to find someone to blame right away instead of looking at the underlying thoughts and issues that caused a human being to kill these souls and later kill themselves.
If we keep hearing about these bombings what are we being called to see and learn? What are we being signaled to be? What are we being motivated to do? Should we point our fingers to poverty? The wealthy and powerful? Islam? America? Israel? Or, are we all being challenged to ask the self, “Am I strong enough to rise and create a more peaceful world?” We are more concerned with finding someone to blame than actually looking at the causes behind these violent acts. What is behind the passport of the suicide bomber? What is behind his nationality? Can we look beyond a religion? Is it more important to find someone to blame than to find the thoughts that created these violent acts?
There’s a saying, “we become what we think.” Is a suicide bomber actually saying to all of us that the intensity of feeling so powerless with one’s life motivates him to just want to die and take everyone else with him? Is the money left behind to take care of his family really enough to travel within his own soul story? Are these violent acts the result and burden of a global pain of fear and suffering? We do not see our world as a whole. We have created a world out of fear and the illusion of separation. Is blaming something “out there” solving the problem? Does it give us a false sense of comfort to point fingers instead of finding a solution to this never-ending violence?