July 8, 2016
Life is precious. Each of us matters. Our worth as individuals is underrated. Each of us has the potential to be incredible positive forces for good in our community.
Just this last Monday, on July 4th I was with my children in New York City. As we approached Central Park we came by a counter-terrorism police officer. I have seen him standing their before. My kids were just walking by him as if he was not there and I took the time to stop and greet him. I said, “kids, this police officer is just standing here, but at a moment’s notice, he needs to be ready to spring into action and do his job to serve and protect us. You may think he does not look like a hero (he was a bit portly), but he is and he is here to protect us.” My kids acknowledged him and he was very welcoming. Then we went on our way. Words matter. They fly through the air and land on hearts and minds impacting us in all sorts of ways.
Nothing justifies the murder of five police officers.
Four active gunmen unleashed hell fury indiscriminately in what was a peaceful “Black Lives Matter” protest. Five brothers gave up the ghost yesterday at dusk. Seven more lay bloody and injured.
How should we respond? Can we seek to understand the gunmen? Can we empathize with the people who vow to serve and protect us? Can we see beyond uniforms and civilian clothes and discern what the antecedents were that propelled these active shooters to slay our servant leaders and be okay with bullets possibly killing civilians? Are the answers so cut and dry or are their fundamental drivers that are fueling tension along racial, social and economic lines?
Black lives matter… but so do white, brown and asian lives. We all matter. The men and women who serve and protect our community do so because they care about you and me. Day in and day out they do their job, stay on-call, and repeat the process again. These are the lions of America. These are the NURSES, the police officers, the firefighters, the medics, the EMS personnel and our teachers. They are our servant leaders, our brothers, our sisters.