This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper

T.S. Eliot  – The Hollow Men

For some reason, I fell asleep the other night with these lines in my head. It’s been quite a while since I studied this poem, a famous and highly reviewed one. Although Eliot wrote it during the late 20s, I find myself thinking how appropriate it is today.

Those of us who are Americans and fully understand the meaning of being an American citizen continue to be shocked and distressed at the events that took place last Wednesday in our nation’s capital. While the violence was finally put to an end, the dialogue and threats continue and most of us are looking apprehensively at the upcoming inauguration. Will we see more violence, in spite of the massive preparation and presence of thousands of troops and law officers who will attend?

As much as possible, I can separate myself from the politics of last Wednesday and focus only on the damage done to the building that is representative of our democracy and freedom. Except during wartime and in the preservation of freedom that is indigenous to war, I cannot condone violence of any type. Hundreds of millions of us revere the American flag and the buildings that populate our capitol. Seeing damage done to either hurts the core of us. Knowing that it was initiated and encouraged by one of our “leaders” exacerbates the pain and allows me to question the loyalties of those who chose to participate.

After all of the bravado, bullets, and breaking of treasured symbols, what was left? Was there a point of any significance that was transmitted? Surely not, other than that there was a contingent of bullies who didn’t care whom they hurt or what consequences ensued.

My most sincere hope is that we will not see any more violence, damage, or human suffering as this upcoming inauguration takes place. We all have the ability to encourage our lawmakers to do what they can to discourage rioters and encourage peace. I only hope that we will see the best of actions, eliminating both bangs and whimpers. Shalom.

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