I had determined not to write about current events. I’ve made a few feminist mini-rants on my site’s Facebook page, but that is because I’m a dirty feminist. Still, I was going to rant about current events. I can’t do that though. I need to say things.
The shootings in the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin upsets me. I’m not going to rail against a hate culture or try to find blame. The only thing that fights hate and ignorance is love and learning.
Most people have little idea what the Sikh religion is about. Here is a link to a good quick over view. I was raised with a great respect for Sikh culture because of my father. I was raised listening to their music, and listening to the stories of his times with them and tales of their bravery. I don’t pretend to be an expert on their religion or be able to make a value judgement on it, but that isn’t my job.
My job is to care that a community is hurting. I don’t know what to do to help, or even if there is something I can do. I want so badly to rail against the ignorance and hate that lead to this. I want to scream about the different elements in society that could have contributed to the events in that temple. Honestly, though, it won’t help. People know why things like this happen. My readers are generally pretty aware folk. Any anger I would show wouldn’t help the situation.
Here is what will help, maybe not the victims of the shooting, but the rest of humanity, click the link and learn.
I have friends on all ends of the spectrum, from those who hate religion and consider it a poison to those who are devote believers in their own faiths. Don’t read that link and relate it to yourself. Don’t judge it because the people believe in an invisible flying spaghetti monster or because it is not your faith.
Truth is, this isn’t about you. The validity or invalidity of the faiths of others has no bearing on you as long as they are not being pushed on to you. Knowledge, though, about the faiths of others will help you understand them and have empathy. It breaks down the “otherness” of groups of people. That is a big scary prospect, but if we don’t start moving towards understanding and empathy, we will blow ourselves up.
This story lets us know how much we are all a like.
The temple’s president, Satwant Singh Kaleka, took on the gunman with a butter knife. He had to know he would never win. He also knew he could give others, including his wife, time to try to find safety. A man gave his life to try and protect the lives of those he cares about. These stories come from every tragedy. One that sticks with me is Liviu Libresu, the professor who barred his classroom door with his body to give his students a chance to escape during the Virgina Tech shootings.
I don’t even know where I am going with this anymore. I feel a little like I am preaching, and I’m sorry for that.