The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.
I was leaving the dentist’s office this morning when a police car with its siren wailing drove past me at high speed. I continued on my drive not thinking too much about it until crossing the Highland Park bridge two other police cars, coming off Route 28, sped by me sirens going. That’s when dread started clawing at my gut. I knew something bad was going on. I didn’t know just how horribly bad until an hour later. Going after people in a place of worship seems especially cruel, but, really, being targeted while in school, while enjoying yourself at a concert, or being caught in the crossfire in the neighborhood you live in are all equally senseless and horrific. I cared for too many people (isn’t more than 1 too many?) at the clinic where I used to work who had lost family members due to gun violence or had been shot and wounded themselves. I remember one young man who told me he doesn’t go outside on the 4th of July because the sound of fireworks is too similar to gunshots.
NPR’s website included a link to an essay Rabbi Jeffrey Myers wrote about gun control in July. I found a more recent essay of his that resonated in light of the terrible event that unfolded today. “There is a different kind of flood that the world needs. The inhabitants of this planet must flood it with goodness and kindness, to wash away the evil that has arisen. As the late Elie Wiesel, stated so eloquently: the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference. The constant bombardment of events has become a lidocaine that threatens to permanently numb us into acceptance of that which must be unacceptable. So many people just shrug their shoulders and feel helpless, unable to see hope for a brighter future as a possibility. Yet there are many people around this planet working hard to create a better tomorrow. We need to find more ways to learn about them, share their stories and support their endeavors. … All is not lost unless we just give up, and that is just not an option. Flood the earth to cleanse it and purify it.”