“Let’s get to the root cause, and fix it.”

This is both the message and plea we are hearing, whether in talking about the drug and corruption issues splitting the Olympic movement, or in dealing with the civil disorder roiling the nation (and world) in this year of Our Lord 2017.  Again today, another terror attack in London outside Parliament killed four and injured 40 more.

While issues like performance-enhancing drugs and the corruption of officials overseeing sport are vitally important within their own particular sphere, they pale in comparison to the wider unrest that is unsettling the world at large.

But what, exactly, is the root cause, much less the fix?  Is it ending the 1500 year-old religious division in the Middle East, or the millenium-old rift between the Middle East and the West?  Is it righting a 400 year-old slavery-seeded mind set that simultaneously declared freedom and equality while enslaving millions in America? Or should we direct our attention at the granular level, at the particular perpetrators like the man in London who mowed down pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge today then rushed out and stabbed a police officer who was protecting Parliament?

It’s amazing really. The Internet can be such a powerfully positive tool while at the same time it can serve the cause of a nihilist’s jihad.  In the tiny sliver of the world known as running we see more more young high school students performing better than ever, because, in part, they know what others like them are doing in training and racing everywhere else.  And buoyed with that knowledge their belief in themselves skyrockets.

And yet there are other young men who surf more sinister sites who are also emboldened by what they read, but who are turned against their fellow man when armed with their own new supporting beliefs.

Societies of men engineered these divides. Or were the terrorist in cities around the world born that way? It’s either muddy gene pools or a societies-wide virus. Which are we more willing to bet that it is? Continue reading