Absence, A Big Statement

Paris Rally
We all know from psychology 101 that what we pay attention to and give to is what is really important to us. 

 
Parenting is an example of this where we give our time and efforts to our children as our most important investment of self. 
 
This last week was the historical Paris Unity Rally attended by millions, including 40 world leaders, to denounce blind discrimination and hate and the associated terror and murder that marked the terrorist attacks in Paris.
 
The Paris attacks were a striking blow on free speech and resulted in the murder of many innocent citizens and law enforcement at Charlie Hebdo magazine and numerous Jews in a kosher grocery store–it was more than shocking to see our top leadership missing in action (MIA).
 
In the Wall Street Journal today, there are many words on this from “error” to “lost opportunity.”
 
Yet, despite acknowledging the blatant absence, what we are left with are an unfortunate series of excuses, such as the incredible statement that “No one in the White House brought such a request to the the President’s attention.”
 
As if someone needs to tell the leader of the free world that he needs to be participate in the Paris Unity Rally. Did the millions who attended or the other 40 world leaders need a reminder or a nudge?
 
Or here’s another one about not being able to attend because of “security concerns.”
 
Once again, did the heads of state for France, Germany, England, and Israel not have similar concerns that their protectors were able to adequately address. 
 
What about the  apology that he “regrets his decision not to send a top White House official,”–uh, what about going himself?
 
I remember immediately after the attack of 9/11, President George W. Bush, with bullhorn in hand, standing on the rubble of what was once the World Trade Center…there was no excuses as to a need for reminders from staffers, security or health concerns, or sending surrogates–the leader was there and doing his job to lead, period.  
 
How can we fight a war on terrorism, fanaticism, and blind hatred, when we won’t give it our time and attention–from the top down. 
 
As with a parent who is absent with his children, it speaks a thousand words about what is really important to that parent and the impact on the (symbolic) child.
 
“A cat’s in the cradle with a silver spoon little boy blue and the man in the moon when your coming home dad I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then dad, you know we’ll have a good time then.”
 
In the past, the administration has been incredibly supportive in fighting terror, anti-semitism, and standing up for human rights, and with genuine commitment of time and effort, can do so again. 
 
(Source Photo: here with attribution to Doug)
 
(All opinions my own).

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