Fear: That is What They Want

This piece comes with a lot of emotion. I just woke up here in Oregon, only to see that 40 people have been confirmed dead via a “suicide bombing” at a large recreational park in Pakistan. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the situation seems eerily similar to attacks in Brussels just a few days ago, and Paris a few months ago.

The idea of terrorism, and its success revolves around one thing – striking fear in innocent civilians. Receiving a news update via your favorite news app on your phone has turned from what it should be, to wondering whether the update has news about a new attack with multiple people wounded and/or dead. The world is truly evolving, for worse it seems.

On September 11, 2001, I was just seven years old. I remember my parents waking me up at 6 in the morning like any normal day. Walking downstairs, I could sense the tension, but being so young made it difficult to understand. Seeing the burning buildings on television didn’t make sense at the time, but it is an image that will forever be engrained in my mind. Now, every time we hear about a terrorist attack, it’s hard not to revert back to the first attack I remember.

Al Qaeda was so successful because they lived off the fear that they instilled in people. A group, nothing more than a bunch of radical anarchists, succeeded in belittling people all across the world. This same type of fear is being seen, only now being instilled by groups like ISIS and Boko Haram, both of which are responsible for the murder of hundreds of thousands of people.

While you sit at home, go to school, go to work, run to the market, enjoy a sporting event, or take a night out on the town with your significant other, just remember that this is your time. While terrorism has been so effective, in both taking the lives of people who deserved so much more to instilling fear that sticks with people everywhere they go, we as humans were put on this place to enact change – we were certainly not put on earth to be wiped away by those who only the worst type of change.

In the end of the day, we’ll never fully understand how someone could strap a bomb to their chest and blow themselves up, while having absolutely no regard for human life. As bad as it has gotten, always remember to keep your pride and your dignity. Terrorism’s future success will use fear as fuel, so continue to go out and live your life knowing that each positive step you take will directly or indirectly diminish the effectiveness of terrorism. By simply being yourself and not being afraid, you are agreeing to stand up to terrorism and seek its destruction – not the other way around!

About the Author
Jason is a recent graduate from the University of Oregon, and now works for a major Jewish non-profit in the United States. Ever since his childhood, Jason has enjoyed working with and helping others. Over the past five or so years, Jason found his calling in the Jewish community - he now gets the chance to work with and inspire the next generation of young, dynamic Jewish leaders on American college campuses. A zionist at heart, Jason sees the ugly battle being waged against Jews across the globe, and he feels like it is his obligation to defend those who have sacrificed everything to give him and others the platform to share their narrative.
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