Sunday, February 25, 2018

This Is What Democracy Looks Like

I am just now returning from a meeting of the Jewish-Islamic Dialogue Society of Washington.  This meeting kicked off the organization’s tenth year, and yet it was the very first meeting devoted to the figure of Abraham, the common father of Jews and Muslims (as well as Christians).  The stories that have been told about Abraham are some of the most inspiring stories ever told.  In this case, they inspire me to write a blogpost that is completely motivated by love, a blogpost without a single negative sentiment.   This will be short, to the point, and invariably positive. 

Abraham is not the only human figure who inspires me.  I also feel enlivened by the teenagers from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School who are determined to make a difference on the issue of gun control.  Already, these teenagers have caused a number of politicians to change their positions and support certain gun control measures.  I give credit to those politicians for evolving on issues like background checks, bump stocks and raising the legal age to buy guns.   But I give even more credit to the teenagers who are fighting for additional common sense gun laws, including laws banning AR-15s and other semi-automatic weapons. 

I plan on joining that fight.   On March 24, 2018, the teenagers from Stoneman Douglas will be coming to Washington, D.C. and leading a rally in support of stricter gun control measures.  They have applied with the National Park Service to hold a “March for Our Lives” somewhere in our nation’s capital.   I wouldn’t miss that for the world.

I call for all empathic rationalists who are able bodied, aren’t taking care of a baby under the age of one month (e.g., one of my daughters), live in the United States, and are affluent enough to travel to other parts of their country to make the trip to DC and listen to the teenagers tell their stories and share their wisdom.   For these kids to be successful, they need the rest of us to show up in the flesh and witness what democracy looks like.   

You don’t have to be Father Abraham to be a role model and a leader.  These Stoneman Douglas teenagers have also attained that status.  Sometimes, it’s not our job to lead, but it is our job to follow.  On March 24th, we should at least follow those kids to Washington and lend them our ears.   Innocent lives are in the balance.

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