a spoken word piece by Carlo, who read this piece at the Candlelight Vigil on January 13th, 2016
I can get angry.
When I was younger, anger was for my brother.
For those of you who have siblings, you can relate.
The arguments were petty, sure,
But I could not let him win.
I can hate.
On a rainy day, I start cringing on every corner.
When shoes start to squeak, I cry on the inside.
It makes me want to pull my ears out.
They can hate. They can get angry.
But what degree of anger and hatred does it take to put a gun up to anyone’s head and pull the trigger?
What type of chemical interaction goes off in their brain that allows them to crash a plane filled with innocent people?
How could that person listen to the screams of these poor victims and not think to hesitate?
Why would anyone take a loving father from his family and have him only to return as an empty shell of a man?
To blatantly disregard human rights and pretend as if they are above them.
Where in the world could these people have been raised?
How can they do such a thing?
Then I remember where I come from.
And I think a little more.
And I start to realize something.
I have the fortune of being raised by loving parents.
I am blessed with the ability to travel the world without leaving my doorstep.
And even when I do, I am introduced to people with different backgrounds.
I have been taught that these people’s lives are worth everything.
They have not.
I have been taught that different beliefs are like animals. Some are meant to be observed from a distance.
They are blinded by belief.
They fail to make this distinction.
They are lost sheep huddling to form their own herd.
They are a radical few not a majority.
Let us remember where we live we all face adversity.
Not to condemn others because of the actions of their radical counterparts.
But to grab them by the hand and lift them up.
Because I know we can do it.
Let us not fight these radicals with fire but with roses.
For the petals shall show them our love, but the thorns will remind them we are not afraid to fight back.
Let us not let fear dictate how we respond to these attacks, but let strength make us rise to the occasion.
Let us begin to understand these crazed men.
And remember no matter what they put us through..
We can love. We can forgive.