I know that I am not alone in mourning the tragic and senseless death of New Hampshire’s James Foley, killed by ISIS. I am sure that many others share my shock, anger, outrage and sorrow over this brutal and savage attack on an American citizen. Whatever your political views are, this is a tragedy of immeasurable proportions.
In this blog, I am careful not to air my personal political or religious views; that’s for each person to decide for themselves. Personally, I am saddened for James Foley’s family, friends and community, especially for his mother. To have given birth to a child, raised that child with love, care and joy, watched his progression through life, shared his accomplishments, successes, life milestones and more–only to lose that child in such a heartless, savage and brutal way has to be pain beyond comprehension.
My first reaction in hearing this news was typical of what many Americans must feel–a combination of rage, grief and helplessness. What can I do about events such as this? How can I help? How can I make this better? How can I live my life to honor people such as James Foley? What I have chosen to do is to write this post and continue to live my life as best I can and use all the considerable gifts I’ve been given to their highest and best purpose. I will not and can not waste time raging powerlessly against forces I can neither control nor stop. I will stay grateful for each moment I draw breath. I will not give in to acts of rage and fury. As an American, I will not give in to fear of these people.
Some say that members of ISIS are already in this country. Some say that they wouldn’t dare come here. Some say that this incident is none of our business. Some say that we should go to war right now against these people. Some say that ISIS will not stop its atrocities until we all submit to their demands and become part of their religion. I certainly don’t have answers for any of this.
All I have is the ability to put my talents and gifts to good use, mourn and remember James Foley, and not make his death a reason to be hateful or fearful. As with 9/11, this event is carved deep into my heart, and I will not forget. I will honor James Foley and all the others and make them part of my family. I will not let the horror and outrage break me or make me give up on living the best life I can and using my gifts to help those I can.
My hope is that we do not lose our humanity and good intent, or our hopes and dreams. This is how I have chosen to wage war on those who threaten our country and our way of life.