On evil and hope

Want to see some powerful writing? Check out the speech US President Barack Obama delivered at a memorial service following the horrific Tucson shootings.

Plaudits to the President’s speechwriting team as this is a mighty effort that had to traverse rough terrain very carefully. Think about all the things this piece of writing had to achieve. It had to pay tribute to those who lost their lives to an act of cowardice. It had to send a message of hope for those survivors who were wounded or bereaved. It had to thank the civilians who had the courage to tackle the gunman as he reloaded. It had to signify strength and calm in the face of a nation factionalised by gun culture.

It did all that. It also had to somehow make sense of a senseless act. To tell people around the planet that evil won’t win.

The line that resonated most strongly with me makes us all world leaders in the struggle against hate and violence. It states: “We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another, that’s entirely up to us.”

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