An angry draft

A white, Christian male enters a coffee shop, a gun hidden beneath his coat. As he approaches the line of people waiting for their morning beverages, he brandishes the weapon, yells out “Repent, Sinners!” and opens fire on the unsuspecting customers. The aggressor in this instance is upset at the shop’s owner, who happens to be an Atheist. The owner, another white male, decided that he was going to open his shop up on Christmas day, to take advantage of the opportunity to be the only shop open for the many non-Christians and Christians alike who happen to want a coffee on Christmas morning. There were 12 people in the shop, including 10 people that had never stepped foot into the place before that day. The gunman, obviously mentally ill, a lone wolf, is captured a few hours later by the police. It’s a horrible tragedy, but an isolated incident, and the general public sleeps soundly knowing that the bad man is behind bars, awaiting his justice.

A dark-skinned Muslim man enters a coffee shop, a gun hidden beneath his coat. He immediately opens fire on the unsuspecting customers. He is angry that the shop employs women, and that the owner does not close for Eid al-Fitr, which he perceives as an attack on his religion. There were 12 people in the shop, including 4 people who themselves identified as Muslim. It’s peculiar to the media and the government alike that there would be Muslims in a coffee shop, considering some Muslims will not drink coffee due to their beliefs. Obviously, they can’t rule out that the 4 “victims” were not somehow involved, perhaps part of a bigger, sleeper cell organization in the area. Local Imams are questioned and their Mosques are put under secret surveillance. Residents of the nearby towns are in a panic, and local government officials demand that the Muslim community leaders speak out at this vicious terrorist attack.

Indeed, Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving like kindred; and forbids indecency, and manifest evil, and wrongful transgression. He admonished you that you may take heed. (Al Quran 16:91)

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:31)

Think about the world around you. Think about how the news is reported. Think about what you’ve heard people say, the vitriol they spew. Change the dialogue.

A new year is upon me

2014 is behind me, thankfully. While every year has its ups and downs, last year perhaps had a few more downs in it than I would prefer to have. The downs were mostly health related issues, and in reality some of them are within my sphere of influence, so if I buckle down I can surely alleviate some of my problems going forward.

2015 will indeed be a year of change for me. I have enrolled in the local community college and as of next week will begin to pursue a degree in Social Sciences. Whether I stop at two years, or transfer to a four-year college I cannot say at this moment, but it feels good to just take that first step, which I have been terrified of doing for twenty years now. I am looking forward with anticipation on starting these classes, but of course the fear of failure is weighing on me like an ape on my back.

It’s good to keep moving forward; once you stop, you might never start up again. I am lucky to have someone in my life who acts as a catalyst for me, constantly challenging me to improve my life. I realize that a lot of people don’t have that, and I’d be committing a moral crime by not listening to her and accepting the challenge, finally.

When I was a teenager I had dreams of becoming a journalist. I am hoping that at the very least my writing will improve this year, and give me the confidence to possibly pursue a career outside of my circumscribed comfort zone.