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Inside looking out: A declaration of war

It’s time we declare war against anger in America.

We want you gone from our homes, from our neighborhoods, and from the very soul of this grand land. We have allowed you to bring suffering upon us far too long. We must stop you now to save ourselves and to protect our children from the ravaging beast that you are.

You bring the devil wherever you go. Your soldiers carry flags of racial hatred. You drive with rage on our highways. Your ugly face throws fists on our sidewalks and you show up at sporting events where you provoke shameful behavior that calls the police to remove your culprits from the premises.

You invade a family’s home and enrage a husband to strike his wife while their frightened children cower in the corner. You scar a young woman’s heart with an unrelenting grudge that is buried so deeply against her mother, they have not spoken a single word to each other in 10 years. You empty a bottle of whiskey for a bitter old man who does not want to be alive anymore and you push a heroin needle into a young girl’s arm because this is the only way she can escape the pain you feed inside her mind.

You target the unloved, the lonely, and the forgotten, defenseless victims who do not have the strength to fight back against your unyielding force.

We turn on the television and witness the ravages of your menace. You always grab the top story for something terrible that you have done. You influence unspeakable crimes against the innocent and the helpless. For those who go to jail because of your persuasion, they can only wonder how they let you get to them before carrying out their acts of violence.

You run away from the chaos and lurk in the shadows until somebody comes along with a problem that he can’t fix and you pounce into his very being with your red-hot flames and make him scream fire from his lungs at the next person who crosses his path.

You recruit our young generation to join your army of madness. They run the streets preying on the vulnerable like a pack of terrorists shooting their weapons through a village of unarmed civilians.

Wherever protesting mobs appear, your presence is toxic. You tear across our cities like the winds of a hurricane, destroying all common sense and self-control that gets in your way.

Yet we understand what you’re all about. It’s not his will that makes a man threaten public officials at a township meeting. His vitriol is not a demonstration of bravado. He’s fearful of what you’re doing to him, but if we see past his angst to understand his life, we’ll find that he’s lost a job and he’s been through a brutal divorce. Now he comes to a public forum with desperation in his eyes because he can’t pay his taxes. His threats to bring harm give him a false sense of power. He thinks he can set things straight, but if he allows you to go unchecked, you will rise up and send waves of despair upon him until he grabs a gun and goes out and does the unthinkable.

You stand upon a wall that has divided our country between political extremes. Some want it this way. Others want it that way. Wear the mask. Don’t wear the mask. When you get in the middle of the dispute and remove all rationality, no one thinks that if either side gets their way, you’ll infect the losing half with unbridled fury and God forbid, you might destroy all human sanity and start a war by having us fighting against each other. Although partisan hands will cheer their battle victories, the war will ultimately be lost and thus in the end, so will we.

Before it’s too late, we must place our trust in action and understanding. We can’t always get what we want, but we have to get what we need. What we need is a national campaign to return respect for each other inside our homes and outside our doorways. What we need is to teach our children that everything we do to each other comes back to us and no one is spared the justice of the universe. We need awareness everywhere - in our schools, in our stores, inside our athletic venues, at the doors of our churches, and on roadside billboards.

Instead of political propaganda, we need our leaders to step up to the plate and spearhead a collective conscience of kindness all across this nation.

Are we not motivated? Then what we need to do is see ourselves through the eyes of a child and we will know why we must take action now.

American author D.B. Harrop writes, “Have a big enough heart to love unconditionally and a broad enough mind to embrace the differences that make each of us unique.” Treat others like we want them to treat us. Show compassion. Trust in the healing power of forgiveness. This is how we stop your motive to divide and conquer.

In 1776, while arguing for America’s independence from England, Thomas Paine wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” It’s 2021 and these are new times that are trying our souls. We must win this war against you. Only then, will we be free at last to restore our pride in the greatest country in the world.

Rich Strack can be reached at richiesadie11@gmail.com.