August 13, 2011

Attacked And Then Some

We watched this week the riots in London--the chaos, the anarchy, the destruction, and ultimately the fear brought upon the everyday people.

But nothing was more chilling than the video of the Malaysian student who already beaten and bloodied is helped to his feet by what seems like a good samaritan only to be taken off-guard by what turns out to really be a second attack, where they steal his wallet, phone, and Sony PSP playstation.

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said about this incident: "When we see children as young as 13 looting and laughing, when we see the disgusting sight of an injured young man with people pretending to help him, while they are robbing him, it is clear that there are things that are badly wrong in our society."

But what is wrong with society and how are we going to correct them?

Clearly, there are feelings are social inequality and injustice around the world and this has sparked protests, riots, and war.

This last week we saw the gamut from peaceful protests in Tel Aviv over the rising costs of living, to the riots in the UK leading to over a thousand arrests and estimates of hundreds of millions of dollars in damage, and ongoing warring battles for the Arab Spring occurring in the Middle-East in Libya, Yemen, Syria, and more.

And while protesting and even demanding change in the face of injustice is sometimes necessary, the brutal attacks on innocents is not a fight for social justice, but rather of those who would take advantage of the times for their own greed and malevolence--it is sick to loot, burn, and attack just because they can.

Unfortunately, we saw similar mob mentality in Egypt when CBS reporter, Lara Logan was brutally raped by a crowd celebrating the resignation of Hosni Mubarak.

So what is wrong? There are some people who lack a clear sense of right and wrong, and who are not inhibited from doing horribly wrong and violent things.

I remember as a child growing up, my father used to tell me, when there is no one to stand up and be a man, you be the man--you be the example!

This was not a lesson in masculinity, but rather of morality--no matter what others do, no matter how egregious, no matter how many, you must have the conviction to stand up and do what is right.

To me, we need more fathers in this world like mine, who teach and demand responsibility from their children.

Similarly, we need more nurturing mothers, enlightened educators, genuine models of religious piety, as well as wise and inspirational leader--who can bring out the best in our young people and give them hope, but also guidance.

Both the London riots and the attack on the student that happened this week, could happen anywhere next, if we don't continue to address the basic needs of the people (from freedom to human rights, economic prosperity, etc.), and ensure a society that is governed by law, but also driven by ethical behavior and a sense of duty rather than entitlement.


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