Coffee Klatsch

March 10, 2021

The World is Cruel. Be Kind.

A few nights ago, as Tyler and I were making our nightly rounds through several national news programs, we stumbled across the headline, “Attacks Against Asian-Americans Spike.” The headline accompanied a horrific video of a 19-year-old man body slamming an 84-year-old Asian man to the ground. The man, Vichar Ratanapakdee, was out for his morning walk, something he did every day through the pandemic to stay healthy and active. As the attacker runs up on him, you can see Mr. Ratanapakdee jump with surprise and try to find an escape, as though he was trying to avoid an on-coming car. The attacker tackles Mr. Ratanapakdee, stands up, and runs off, leaving Mr. Ratanapakdee to die. He did, in fact, die, several days later after suffering a brain hemorrhage.

The news segment continued to show video after video of elderly Asian people walking through the streets and being tackled to the ground by young men. The videos are sickening; as I watched, I felt the tears well up in my eyes. The cruelness of these attacks has left me feeling hopeless for humanity. Words cannot truly express the sadness and ache I have in my heart for the families of these victims. Even as I write this, a week later, I have tears spilling from my eyes.

These attacks are senseless. Any attack is senseless. But these ones, caught on tape. Attacks on Asian-Americans. Officials haven’t categorized these attacks as hate crimes, but the recent spike in attacks against Asian-Americans, an 800% rise compared to the same time period last year, would tell otherwise.

My heart breaks for these families in the same way it breaks for the families who lose young children to violence, in the same way it breaks for African American families who lose a loved one to hate, in the same way it breaks when I read American history and learn of the atrocities of slavery and the gruesome hate of White Supremacists.

There is no room for hate in this world, but yet, there is plenty of it. At a time when we should be coming together to care for one another, to heal from a year of isolation, loss, and grief, there should be no hate. But there will always be hate, and that is a hard fact to comprehend.

The world needs better people. The better we are, the more we can spread love and kindness. There will always be stories of hate and violence, but there comes a time when we need more good news than sad. Today is one of those days. As I used to tell my daughter every day before she hopped out of the car for school: do something kind for a friend today. Except, maybe now, it will be: do something kind for a stranger today.

Until next time,

Create peace in your world,

Tina

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