Web, Writing and Editing. November 2015. Wingspan Online
This is the very first Common Sense blog post I wrote. I decided to call it Common Sense as a reference to my last name and to the seminal Thomas Paine pamphlet. Blogging was something I wanted to try for awhile but I never really got the opportunity up until that point. I wrote this blog post while I was at the National Scholastic Press Association Fall Convention in Orlando, F.L. While I was at the convention the tragedy in Paris occurred. In the next few days I heard a lot of people talk about their “thoughts and prayers” going out to the people in Paris. To me it isn’t enough to give “thoughts and prayers.” We need to inspire action and that is what Common Sense is all about.
My day was going so well.
A day of media and race relations, a day of meeting new people from around the country, a day riding Rockin’ Roller Coasters. But the news of the attacks in Paris was enough to ruin my day of fun.
More than 130 dead, countless injured physically and emotionally. While I sat by and rode the Tower of Terror, the people of Paris learned what real terror was.
At these pivotal moments, it is easy to fall into the narrative that all I can do is give my thoughts and prayers.
But I don’t think just thinking and praying are enough. I have to call out the systemic problems facing modern society today. That’s why I’m starting this blog today. I have chosen to call it Common Sense as a reference to Thomas Paine’s seminal pamphlet and as a reference to my last name. I will use this blog not only to express my own controversial opinions and subversive politics, but point out things that should simply be commonplace.
To me it is simple Common Sense to decry the actions of radical Islamists. It is Common Sense to say that the root causes of the kinds of violent attacks we are seeing today are result of a grandiosity and a privilege that says that we are better: better at religion, better at government, better at freedom. We see to believe we should spread are betterness to the world. But most of all, it is simple Common Sense that prayer and thought alone will do nothing.
So go ahead and pray tonight. Pray for the dead and the thousands in fear and terror. But then wake up in the morning with a mindset that if you don’t accept Common Sense and decry the actions of these radical Islamist terrorists, then you are doing nothing to stop the terror you despise.
By Ari Sen
A French man stands by the monument he erected in solidarity with Paris. On Nov. 13, 2015 130 people were killed in Paris by members of ISIS. Photo by Ari Sen.