Before you pull your next trigger, I would ask for a pause, not for my sake but yours: take in a full breath, and think of the smile on your mother's face. Think of the early times, when your parents were young, when sunsets lasted longer, when the biggest problem was schoolwork, acceptance from friends, or the hesitant expression on a pretty girl's face.
Think of the taste of bread.
Consider your goals now, and reflect on how they're all ultimately to do with loneliness, the search for belonging and respect and when we really get down to it, love.
Know that I was all of those things too. My goals and memories are like yours, and as children we would've played together. The weight between your shoulders is one I can feel, different but familiar, a lack of love to be solved not with hate, but with love. We are all bitter over something. Let us not fight rigid ideologies with other rigid ideologies, or address violence and mayhem with the tools of violence and mayhem. In the business of fighting ideas, there is only one successful method: other ideas.
The great battles of the twenty-first century will be intellectual battles. War is simplistic, and blinds with tragedy; it traffics more than perhaps anything else in nostalgia, and is outmoded and archaic as a problem-solving format. You are so much better than this, my friend. I am disappointed in you. You knew the face of goodness, once.
I do not think you have completely forgotten how to see.
As you know, I was present during last year's attacks in Paris. It hasn't felt right to share these photographs until now. Now it feels wrong not to share them.
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