Terror, Stampedes, Greed, and Death, but through it all there is still reason for Hope. Let’s find a reason.
The Christmas season has officially begun; well, actually, the Christmas shopping season has begun, and early on Black Friday the first fatalities were recorded:
A worker died after being trampled and a woman miscarried when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island Wal-Mart Friday morning, witnesses said. . .” He was bum-rushed by 200 people,” said Jimmy Overby, 43, a co-worker. “They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too…I literally had to fight people off my back.” essica Keyes was among the shoppers. She told the Daily News she saw a woman knocked down just a few feet from the dying worker. “When the paramedics came, she said ‘I’m pregnant,'” Keyes said. Paramedics treated the woman inside the store and then, according to Keys, told the woman:”There’s nothing we can do. The baby is gone.”
“They’re savages,” said shopper Kimberly Cribbs, 27. “It’s sad. It’s terrible” [emph. added].
Terrorists, meanwhile, spent the past few days waging jihad against Western targets in Mumbai:
Eyewitnesses have described dramatic scenes of terror in the assault by Islamic militants in Mumbai — from bodies in pools of blood to desperate hotel guests arming themselves with cleavers to survive. Caught up in the brazen attack on India’s financial hub, many said they cowered in the dark for hours, waiting to be rescued and fearing the militants would shoot them dead at any moment. “We heard some gunshots. We barricaded the restaurant and we moved everybody into the kitchen,” said Faisul Nagel, a South African security guard who was in the Taj Mahal hotel with colleagues when the assault began. Using tables and refrigerators to barricade themselves in, Nagel said they armed themselves with the only weapons they could put their hands on.”We basically put the lights off in the restaurant just to create an element of surprise. And we armed ourselves with kitchen knives and meat cleavers.” They ended up helping around 120 people escape — including a 90-year-old woman who had to be carried in her chair down 25 flights of stairs.
So does this all this mean anything, and are there any linkages? Maybe, maybe not.
Christmas shoppers set out this morning to buy gifts to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ (presumably). The nativity story informs us that Jesus was born in a manger, far from home, to escape King Herod’s decree to kill all infants who could grow to challenge his rule; the shoppers, at the start of the season to celebrate Jesus’ birth, themselves contributed to the death of an unborn child, and killed outright a man just doing his job. A terrible irony.
Across the world, hotel workers, whose yearly wages aren’t likely to equal a month’s pay of their guests, nonetheless put their lives on the line for perfect strangers, and indeed saved many in the process.
There are many reasons to let the banality of everyday life in America, where people cannot be civil enough to wait their turn in line at a Walmart at 5:00 a.m., to hang one’s head in despair. But at the same time, when people confront what can honestly be described as evil in this world, risking their lives for people they do not even know, there is cause for Hope as well.
We try to Hope more than despair here at the Acre of Independence.