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Life in a dangerous world

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

While the events of last week continue to unfold it reminds us how fragile life is and how quickly our lives can be turned upside down in the mere blink of eye.

While the nation was fixated by the shocking terrorist event in Boston, the good people in West Texas were literally blown away when a fire at a fertilizer plant caused a massive explosion killing as many as 60 and injuring nearly 200.

When the Cold War ended and the Iron Curtain was torn down, we thought and hoped the world was moving toward a more peaceful existence. Nations could focus more on improving the living conditions for its citizens. Ever-developing technological advances would help us realize that with a global economy, war was something the world could do without. We envisioned the spread of democracy and capitalism throughout the world. Other nations were hungry for the lifestyle we enjoyed in the United States.

Unfortunately, the world has not gone in that direction; instead, it has become even more dangerous than before. The events of the last week, the threats coming out of North Korea, the recent ricin letters showing up at the capital and the White House, and the rash of gun violence have once again proven the depth of our vulnerability. We are perhaps more despised both by people who feel entitled to our continued financial and military support and by Jihadists/revolutionaries who see our freedom as grand opportunities to humble the nation and break our spirit.

Regardless of the source of the threat, life is fragile. Life-changing events can come in the form of a national tragedy, but they can also occur in a private conversation with your doctor, a slip on the ice or an unintended auto accident. Life, as they say, can sneak up on you when you least expect it. None of us can live our lives in a bubble. We can’t be so fearful that the joy of life is reduced to a whimper.

Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@newmarketpressvt.com or dan@denpubs.com.

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