On Thursday this week my daughter called me and she was struggling a little with a elementary school exercise she had witnessed. The problem was because they were practicing how to protect the children in the case of a gunman attack on the school. The struggle was for multiple reasons: 1. The necessity to conduct this type of drill, 2. The apathy the children expressed toward the drill and 3. The mechanics associated with the implementation of the drill.
Bad things happen and when they happen we work to find some method of protecting ourselves from such a thing if it should ever happen again. The bad things keep happening and our bag of protection methods gets fuller. On a larger scale terrorists attack people from anger borne of some action of another and anger feeds anger, decades after decades, like ravenous lions feeding at the kill, gorging themselves until they nearly burst from their own gluttony. There can be times when the anger and hate become so extreme that even the ones feeling the anger and hate don’t even know why they feel this way, they just do.
In among those that suffer and hate are the poor innocent victims of that hate. Perhaps it is the children huddling in the school room performing intruder drills, or the child standing near or in the shell torn buildings of the Gaza Strip, Afghanistan, or Iraq. The suffering of the children is never restricted to a single region, it is spread across both the ghettos and refugee camps across the globe as well as the living rooms and schools of modest and even affluent neighbor hoods. Even as we look at the metaphor of the lion kill we also see the love for each other as the lion cub curls up next to it’s mother and lays quietly has she licks its fur clean.
Evil will never be eradicated from the world, no matter how hard we try but that does not mean that we should stop trying. Anger, hate, and revenge have never stopped warfare and neither has falling down on the ground praying for God’s intervention. The fact is, evil happens because we allow it to happen. We allow it to happen because we do not know a better way, after all, we can find warfare and destruction and revenge all authorized by our religious books that are loved and worshipped more than God. The negative energies bury themselves on our backs like leeches and whisper in our ears little bits of encouragement and enticements that let our own imagination justify our revengeful actions in the name of God.
A few days ago during the Miss Universe Pageant, Miss USA was asked “what she would say to “global terrorists” if she were given 30 seconds with one.” Her answer, “I would say, that, you know, as Miss USA, I can only say I’d spread a message of hope and love and peace,” she replied. “And so I would do my very best to spread that message to them and everyone else in the world.” It was a very well presented answer of what could happen with the sharing of hope and love, however it was met with huge criticism because it did not include condemnation and hate that was expected against the bad people of the world.
It is understood that none of us should ever condone brutal acts of terrorism. Perhaps as equally true are the concepts of negotiations with such organizations, however, we must also be willing to look openly at all positions and perspectives with equal evaluation and criticism. What I am suggesting is that killing with planes, canons, rifles, bombs or knives is all killing. Each side in a war has their heroes and their victims. Each fallen is a son or daughter, husband or wife, father or mother, friend, or teacher of another. No one ever wins in a war.
We all have a responsibility to protect and create a better world for the ones we love. It is very hard for us to do this because we do not have a clue on how to do it right and we always have the encouragement to do it wrong. Understand, peace in the world starts with peace within one’s own heart and mind. Perhaps, Miss USA had the best answer for all of us, think about it.
Why is it like this? It is because we allow it. Understand, with understanding comes wisdom.
God loves you always,