A number of people have asked me questions about the evolution and ethology of terrorism, and I consider that to be questioning whether or not we can we explain human terrorism and violence by looking for their roots in the behavior of nonhuman animals (animals). And, if not, is this one arena in which human exceptionalism reigns free?
There's been a lot of talk about how horrible it is that we grieve for France when we're not similarly frenzied about Beirut and others. On the one hand, that argument is totally right. Yes, we should mourn the deaths of innocent people wherever they are, in a far more balanced way than we do. All lives are equal, and all innocent deaths are tragic.
It's at times like this, when the world breaks our heart, that we have trouble being mindful, being nonjudgmental. The "easy" response is to want to break the world right back. To blame, to scapegoat, to demand revenge. But I think practicing mindfulness means we've accepted the challenge to help heal the world.