The Miracle We Need

As I watch the ongoing footage of the aggression in the Middle East I become more indescribably sad each day. I feel riddled with guilt and shame. I'm overwhelmed by the stark absence of compassion and empathy for fellow humans. That this conflict and all others like it occur at all is a horrifying indictment of humanity. I can't let myself believe that some wake up and just decide to indiscriminately eliminate other human beings. I can't.

Furthermore, I don't believe that any single act or occurrence justifies conditions that lead to drastically consequential and catastrophic retaliatory aggression. Two wrongs do not make a right. Do the conflicting sides of this, and any other conflict like it, at the very least commonly understand the rules of engagement? Are all parties fighting for mutually understood goals? Is it political? Is it religious? Is it territorial? Perhaps it's just all about hate, or perhaps it's a complicated mix of all these things. I can't claim to understand any attempt to rationalize or justify what's going on in the region, and other fighting regions throughout the world as we speak. History keeps repeating itself. We don't appear to have learned anything.

Over and over again in a modern age where we most certainly should have figured this all out by now, we seem still to struggle with the importance of respecting fellow human beings and the necessary imperative to preserve all human life, no matter our differences. We must learn how to respect each other. How after all these years of human existence are there people who would justify the death of other innocent people, and especially children in the name of their "cause?"
“There are miracles and glory in every child. Our glory lies in empowering them to flourish their glory.”
― Amit Ray

Every child forced to experience the horror of armed aggression will carry the trauma they experience onto the next generation. We can't sustain this. Hatred breeds hatred. When typically moral and ethical people begin to justify egregious disrespect for human life in the name of their beliefs or causes, there is no good direction to go further. The lack of empathy at the root of this cold disregard stops me in my tracks. We have to do things differently, but who will start?

World leaders don't appear to have the will. Politics isn't helping. Extremists can't be counted on to suddenly become sensible and objective. What will it take to stop the dystopian cycle of violence perpetrated against other human beings; children no less? Who will take us in new directions toward the respect required to understand and accept each other, forge healthy relationships with those who are different, and collective responsibility for the sake of our species? When we're fine with the unnecessary killing of the next generation, we are essentially doomed.

I haven't completely lost hope. I believe the answer may be surprisingly simple. It's sickenly ironic that the most helpless among the victims of egregious deadly aggression are also our greatest hope to end the same deadly aggression. Children are the most vulnerable to military aggression, and children are the most powerful chance we have to stop it. Millions of children around the world are currently unjustifiably confronted by war. We have to reach out in overt care for them. We have to show them an alternate reality. We need to wrap circles of loving and caring support around them. These children cannot be left to the influence of the same destructive forces that harmed them in the first place. Every one of these millions of kids is an opportunity to foster healing. We need to provide them with safe spaces to grow and learn and develop new paradigms that accept others in the child-like ways they knew before they were hardened by the acts of those who do not care about them. Many may scoff at this notion, but I believe there are enough of us who know the answers are right in front of us if we choose to see them. With the right support, these children will lead the transformational process toward peace.

No matter how influenced children are by the doctrines of their elders, they all begin their life journey as innocents. No matter their race or religion, place of origin, or creed, kids are more alike than they are different. All they really ask of us is a fair chance to learn about the world that destiny has created for them. What they end up knowing, understanding, and doing as a result of their exposure to the world around them is nearly exclusively impacted by the relationships they develop with adults. Whether parents, relatives, teachers, coaches, or others; we can easily positively influence the lenses they look through every day if we adopt the will to do so. We need adults willing to help kids focus through the right lenses; the lens of respect for others, the lens of understanding issues objectively, the lens of participation in and nurturing positive relationships, and the lens of taking appropriate responsibility to do well by doing good in life. I'm very interested in recruiting as many adults as possible who agree with my assertion. 


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