Before you swear at the next refugee, or spit on the shadows of heartbroken immigrants, or victimise displaced persons – consider this:
There will come a time when you – yourselves – might require asylum. When that time comes you will understand how it feels to be at the mercy of a system you are unable to control. It is a frightening feeling, having something other than yourself decide your fate – based on what it thinks it knows of your situation. Systems are systems for a reason. People are human for a reason. Letting a system decide your fate is not what humans do. Or at least – they shouldn’t. You decide your own fate – and in doing so, you can change the fates of many people who currently cannot make that choice for themselves.
The next time you find it wisest to sit on the side-lines and watch human atrocities atrophying the human mind, remember that that paralysis is ultimately going to be yours. Each boat-load of hopeless humans is a weight around our collective necks. Every exile, ourselves. Please. Let’s find solutions. Enough children have died for causes that were never theirs’ to fight. More than enough. It is time that adults began seeing eye to eye and teaching their children that in this world – there are alternatives to war.
This world did not get to where it is by swapping recipes or dancing hand-in-hand around the maypole. There are forces at war in every day, every country, every man. The sooner people realise that Shiva is alive and well, the better. What does war mean in 2013? It does not mean the same as war in 1939. No. It does not mean the same as Hiroshima. Nagasaki. War in 2013 means suggesting to aggressors that theirs’ is not a wise tack to take. Is it not an act of humanity, striking against what is wrong? There is not one American, or one British person, or in fact any educated person on this planet that would accept their entire town or city being murdered in their sleep by the government. Not one. Why should the Syrians stand for it? Who are they supposed to ask for help, if not the West? That puts the West in an awkward position. Do you pretend that what happened – is happening – in the Middle East is acceptable? Or do you condemn the massacre of innocent civilians with force? It depends on what language the murderers understand. If President Obama strikes against Syria, remember that he is not trying to take over the world. He is not doing a Hitler. He is authorising his military to protect the people of Syria. That this action would have widespread ramifications is clearly understood. I think everybody understands that it is not just Syria and America in the picture here. There will be retaliation and others will be drawn into the fray. Does that count as collateral damage? I wonder.
Let us not pretend there has ever been peace on this planet. There never has. What can we do about that? We can work towards it – the same way generations before us have been working towards it. It would seem that there is a permanent hitch with Israel and Palestine. They love this war-business. They should accept that their protracted battle over a piece of the EARTH is the work of fanaticism. It is holy land? Well then stop warring on it, over it. Respect its holiness. Give the Palestinians a place to become who they are, please Israel. Show your bigger heart. It means a dent to your pride, perhaps, but that is not the worst thing in the world. The amount of hatred directed at the Jews – for whatever reason anti-semites hate Jews these days – builds for them their fate. Do you not realise that hate rolls around, and around, and around? Someone, somewhere has to give ground. I don’t see where the Palestinians can go if Israel takes the land from under their feet. Must they now wander in the desert for 40 years? China, also, should stop stealing borders. They do not own the planet, they should be a lot more respectful towards it.
You cannot say that bombing Syria is like killing Syrians to stop Syrians killing Syrians. That is not what happened – is happening. That is overly simplistic and it is rubbish, besides. Is bombing Syria perhaps a necessary protest, a stepping-stone in the bigger picture? Think about it. When do you stand up and say no? When enough, is enough. Where is humanity if the Syrian government can kill its people with impunity whilst the rest of the world stands by and watches? I wonder.
For there to be equilibrium on a universal scale, we need to balance the scales of love and hate. There is a lot of hate circumnavigating this globe of ours. There is too much war. Too many old wars. I am not speaking about the peace-making efforts of international forces, either. Their’s is a job and they do it with our welfare in mind. I don’t think it is easy to be trained to kill another man. It goes against our very grain. Ours is the will to live. Where there is man pitted against man because belief-systems differ, there is war. War of heart, war of mind. When you explain to a boy that he will hate another man because of what he stands for, you are taking away his freedom. When you tell a boy that he has enemies before he has had a chance to explore a life without strife, you are forcing your prejudice down a virgin throat. It’s abusive. Why can these violent nations not see what damage they are doing to their own children? They are systematically crippling generation after generation of boys, men. The hatred that is cultivated in dark man-corners and passed on proudly from father to son is thwarting the evolution of a lot of males on this planet. In order to progress, you have to change your thinking. You cannot escape this reality. I, for one, am tired of hearing Israel and Palestine bleating about the same grievances they’ve been bleating about for decades. Their voices are noise, their words, empty. The fact of the matter is they do not want to find solution – that is the point that should be made. Why does everyone skirt around this issue? There is too much deliberate ‘not-offending’ going on in our first-world societies. Too much lip-service and arse-kissing. How far do we go with covering up how flawed a lot of belief-systems are? The men who perpetuate war are behaving like children. They will all have the last word and they will all have their way in a world that must accommodate everyone. Did you not hear that we are all entitled to an opinion, as long as we don’t think it’s the only one? When did anyone on this planet get anywhere worthwhile without compromise? When you are dealing with real people, you must employ diplomacy and you must be prepared to adjust your opinions. Compromise means you look at a situation from other sides. You appreciate that there are people whose ideas are bigger, better, than your own. You do not hold on to an old rage. What is the point of that? The horrors happened, people died. The point is to prevent the situation from escalating further and the only way to do that is to get these old schools of thought to modify their thinking.
I think the bible is questionable as a life-manual. It is an interesting metaphor, a vivid story – and the ten commandments are good – but as a work of fact (dare I say truth?) it fails dismally. I think too many people take its lessons too literally and this raises questionable expectations of a god, his son, his spirit.
I think the Koran speaks a great truth. Allah cannot have as many followers as he does without having something truly inspiring to say. Perhaps their ‘religion’ is timeless, the Muslims. Their language is fluid, it is evolving and spinning and whirling like a dervish, and their faith is very strong, a feature of their society. Perhaps we could all learn something from a people who understand devotion. Do you know how powerful the reach of devotion?
I think it’s time we asked one another what it is that we can do to make amends in this fractured world. We cannot ignore that we have issues, complex issues of hatred to try and overcome. I believe they can be overcome. I believe the amount of hatred directed at the Germans – purely because of the Holocaust – has done a lot of damage to their existing psyches. It is a form of oppression – the with-holding of love from a people – and a lot of love has been with-held from Germany because of their past. It is time to move on from their dent in the past. Rwanda has moved on. That was a genocide on some scale. Can you imagine being hacked to death with a machete? Bodies lining the streets for weeks – piled so high cars had to drive over them to get by? That kind of horror is as bad – if not worse – than anything done to the Jews during the war. Can we not accept that there were two bloody great wars and get beyond their reach? For gods’ sake. I think god waits for the alarm of peace to sound. We would all do well to work towards that silence.
In some cultures, respect is an intrinsic part of an everyday. It permeates every action, word, deed. Other cultures cannot spell the word. I think this imbalance is having a major impact on the stability of our world. Respect is taught to children. It is taught, it is not inherited. As is accountability. You show respect in order to teach respect. Particularly to children. Are you aware that by the age of three a child has developed a significant part of its moral make-up? It learns from what it sees. By three, a child’s values are established and it has garnered important life skills that will assist or hinder it on its journey to adulthood. That means children are to be treated with care. Some cultures currently do not understand this. Try to remember that the world you promote to a child is the world they will believe exists. It is not easy to change early impressions.
Every child that is abused or exploited is a child destroyed. Every childhood destroyed, is sacrilege. The value of the purity contained in the true experience of growing up should not be overlooked. The value of proper nurturing by parents should not be overlooked, either. The true experience for a child is about preserving the innocence for as long as you can. Importantly, preserving innocence is never about lying to a child. It is about protecting a child from the adult content of our world.
It is a serious failing that we have as many broken children on this planet as we do. Too many children have seen too much, too soon. For the particular crime of child abuse (emotional, physical, circumstantial or spiritual) – for it is a crime against Nature to damage a child – there is no absolution. Your karma and your end of days will teach you just how frowned upon cruelty to children is. Remember that in our time a childhood is short. That is how it is. Life moves quickly for us all. I see a problem in that there are no halcyon days for a great many children in this world of ours. In a world as adept as this we should not allow our governments to sidestep this issue. They must allocate more funding to social services. They must train more social workers and pay them properly to do the jobs that can make a difference to a child’s life. The world needs more volunteers who wish to heal hurt children. The warring nations of this world need to take accountability for destroying their own children with their pointless vendettas and stop blaming peacemakers for their lost youth. To teach hatred to a child is child abuse. Israel should think about that. Hamas should think about that. Syria should take note and Osama bin Laden’s lost followers should stop brainwashing themselves and martyring innocents.
I think the global community must be more concerned about what is going on in its front garden. A childhood can never be reclaimed. As such, each one should be treasured by the adults – us – for the sake of the small person who is learning its way in our big world and for the sake of the adult that that child will become. It is simple. If respect is not shown for you, for your innocence as a child, you will find it difficult as an adult to reconcile respect for yourself with an everyday. You will learn how to disrespect your inner child as an adult and this has dire consequences.
Assess yourself. Recognise that the wounded child in you demands respect. And yes, we all have one. If you missed a childhood or were not taught respect when you were younger then teach yourselves what it is now. Do this by watching others respect you. If others do not respect you, it is because they have seen no reason to do so. That is often hard to accept. If you care, accept it and give them reason. If you do not care, you are on the wrong planet. You will feel better for some respect. Perhaps it is most important to remember that it is necessary to nurture respect in yourself and others because it is fundamental to love. And without love, we cannot fix the broken children, or adults, in this world. The responsibility is ours.