As a Los Angeles parent, how do you feel about the December 2015 school closures? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
I received a text from my daughter earlier today informing me that she was not going to class because of a terrorist threat the Los Angeles Unified School District received this morning. I immediately got the same sick feeling I did the morning of September 11th when I watched images on TV that did not seem like they could possibly be taken in this country, my country. My kids were very young back then, but I remember keeping them home from school because I did not know what to think except that I wanted them to be safe under my care. That's the same way I felt when given this news today.
Just a couple of weeks back, I remember speaking to my kids about the recent international bombings and the shooting in San Bernadino. I cautioned them against attending crowded public venues like malls and even told them not to watch Star Wars during the opening day madness to be safe. It struck me as a bit sad that the topic of our family dinner was centered around how not to get killed in a terrorist attack.
I do not want my children to grow up with fear, but this is our new reality, one we share with every citizen of the world and one we must work against tirelessly so that we can again have generations who know what it is to live without the fear of sudden violence
Today's scare breaks my heart, but teaches me that nowhere is safe any more. I just returned this past weekend from a weeklong trip to Beirut, Lebanon (via Paris) where I had the honor of speaking in front of aspiring startups in that region. I was pretty nervous to travel there because the State Department had issued a travel advisory for US Citizens to avoid the region completely. While I was there, the US Embassy issued an alert for all US Citizens to leave because their safety could no longer be assured. Despite all of this and the numerous check points and armed soldiers on the streets, I felt safer traveling in a perceived high risk country than I did when I received my daughter's message today.
We live in a big world with no real borders any more. Security will be a growth business for the foreseeable future because otherwise one credible threat and almost 700,000 kids miss school. I pray that we find our way and that these types of events teach our citizens to walk a mile in the shoes of those for whom safety and security are long forgotten dreams.
"The enemy is fear. We think it is hate, but it is fear."