The Tops Friendly Markets store on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo...

The Tops Friendly Markets store on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo where a gunman killed 10 people and injured others. Credit: For The Washington Post/Matt Burkhartt

Buffalo was a mass murder of all of us

The mass murder in Buffalo is representative of the sad and polarizing times in which we live ["Police in Buffalo: Gunman aimed to keep killing," News, May 17]. It was a mass murder of all of us. We are all in this life together. Whether we are Black, white, Asian, Arabic, LGBTQ, etc., we all have the same basic desires -- a happy family, happy life, love, respect, success. Those things are important to all of us. We are born with a necessary basic survival instinct, but it makes us wary of others. We need to separate survival from the convenient, false comforting thoughts of “I’m better than them; I’m smarter; I’ll live longer," or "I am richer.” That’s all egocentric, and we need empathy for a guide in judging others. It’s evident that the internet, politics and education play to that survival instinct and create the polarizing of “it’s us against them.” We are them. This is precisely where hate, prejudice and intolerance come from. The sooner we all come to the realization that we are in this life together and are more similar than most realize, the sooner we will defeat these age-old tenets. We should accept the fact that the human race is more one than many.

Pete Ribek, Farmingville

Conflicting actions surround our planet

The crazy state of the world today has spawned a disturbing oxymoron involving our planet's future ["Fall of Mariupol at hand," News, May 18]. There are so many initiatives to "save the planet." Climate change, sea level, and pollution issues share pages of the same newspapers that have stories about dangerous dictators with atomic power who threaten our planet's very existence. What are the odds that our conservation efforts will outlast the entire planet becoming dust when the wrong circumstances conspire to start World War III?

Robert Gerver, Kings Park

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