The Uncommon Denominator

If you’re reading this, you know I have strong opinions.  I also am a student of both currents and history.  Yes, currents, otherwise known as “trends.”  I see it in healthcare, in dentistry, in our society and in the world.

Paris, Turkey and Bangladesh abroad, Orlando, San Bernardino, Aurora, Newtown, Fort Hood here in the United States.  

Dozens of dead bodies every weekend in Chicago.  Police misconduct resulting in death.  Five dead policemen in Dallas.

People talk about Militant Islam, Hate or Gun Violence.  

I can no longer be silent.

You know that I’m all about finding causes.  It’s what I do every day in practice.  Unless you get at the cause, you’ll never be able to reliably cure the symptom.

All the violence we see is a symptom.  Islam isn’t the cause. Guns aren’t the cause. Police aren’t the cause.  In my view, there’s a singular common cause:

A universal lack of respect for all human life. 

That’s the underlying cause of the problems we face.  Societies, theologies, governments or individuals that minimize the value of ANY life encourage and enable the epidemic of violence we’re now seeing.

It’s a complex problem and I don’t mean to minimize or simplify it.  I think though, that if we don’t open up a dialogue about this issue, we’ll never be able to stop the madness.

We can eradicate ISIS. We can conquer Al Qaida.  We can outlaw guns and put cameras everywhere.  We can institute profiling and surveillance.  We can do all of that and yet, if we ourselves condone violence in our movies, on the TV, on the web and in the video games our kids play we enable violence.

The devaluation of life in any form is a slippery slope.

Our society and others around the world are enablers of our current reality.  I know that I’m guilty of it, too.  We’re all at fault.  Anyone who promotes “otherness” in any iteration is at fault.  That’s the slippery slope.

Let’s talk about the cause, not bemoan or protest the symptom.  Let’s look in the mirror and ask how we can do better to respect human life.  How can we truly “love thy neighbor…”?

To everyone’s good health, wellness and peace,