The tragedy in Norway has prompted the usual calls for increased security and vigilance. Worldround, we have all dealt with how that (dubiously justified) paranoia has impacted on our personal lives and privacy.
I suggest a different approach. Instead of suspicion, how about kindness? Get to know your neighbours. Build community, not walls. Greet the stranger at the door with a plate, not a gun.
I know, it sounds airy-fairy. But I have had the benefit of living in such a world for the last three years. My community is small, so we all know each other. If someone needs help, it's there. In the rare occasion where there has been a transgression against person or property, the person responsible is told to leave and not come back. We have no police here, and no apparent need for them either.
Yes, I know that it's much harder to do these things in a city. But even the biggest city is just a collection of smaller communities.
I do believe there is evil in the world. Bad things do happen. But most people are essentially good, regardless of their race, culture or political persuasion. I would love to hear our media and leaders calling for open hearts and helping hands, rather than locked doors and security cameras. Put money into community services and health care instead of weapons...
You might think I'm being naive, but believe me, I started out as one of the most cynical, defensive people you could meet. I have not led a sheltered life, although I do recognize how lucky I was to be born in a peaceful, prosperous country. Living here, on the fringes of the world, amongst some of the best (and quirkiest) people I have known, is a culmination of a long journey of patience and acceptance from all sides.