Photo from SERAmedic.org
It's an old saying we hear often, and it's a saying that Billy Joel made into a popular song. In the case of Abdul-Rahman "Peter" Kassig, it's very true.
I'm sure that the Indianapolis native that was murdered by ISIS was not perfect...no one can be, but it's hard to have anything but appreciation for the way he lived his life.
In doing research for this piece, I found story after story about this young man that painted a picture of a good-hearted and caring individual that was very dedicated to making a difference in the world he lived.
Unlike so many that try to make that difference, Kassig was more hands on. He took risks and ran towards the dangers to help those in most need around the world through an organization he founded called SERA. If you go to SERA's website, it talks about the organization and there are pictures of Kassig there in action like the one above.
It still doesn't tell his full story, and I'll never be able to do that here. I do know this. That no matter where you are born, you can rise up to make a difference in this world, and the sum of your works can greatly exceed your chronological age. As Kassig's mother, Paula, put it in their press conference earlier today, "In 26 years, he has witnessed and experienced firsthand more of the harsh realities of life than most of us can imagine, but rather than letting the darkness overwhelm him, he has chosen to believe in the good in himself and in others."
So, as a city, we put our arms around the Kassig family and try to help them continue to make sense of the senseless. As a community, that's what we do. It's what Abdul-Rahman would expect out of his hometown.
Make a difference.