Thursday, January 1, 2009


I used to hate this word. Primarily because it forced me to go into places I wasn't ready to excavate. But that has changed. The other day a fellow facebooker wrote the following as their status:
is pondering what gives one group of people the power of life and death over another group of people?
I wrote something to the effect that sadly and simply they think they have it. To which alot of other people responded that it is not a simple thought. That it is a complex thing. I have a tendency to over-simplify, that is true. But I really wanted to work through this question in my head. I do, honestly think though that the first reason is simple: they believe they have it. I would change think to believe. The reasons why they hold this belief is where the complexity comes in. God, money, status, greed, faith. The list of whys is endless. But the foundation is a belief - in someting - that elevates them to G-d.
after sparking interesting debate, the original poster responded this way:
Wow! Seems like I opened a Pandora's box. I post was referring to the problem in the middle east. I don't know all the specifics and don;t have the answers but when I read and hear about bombings, killings and people being denied a home land I can't help but wonder why. Not just the middle east but historically we can look at Apartheid SA, Bosnia, Sudan and the list goes on. Why are human beings so cruel and what gives us the right to be? We are God's creation but I don;t know if we are his intention sometimes.

I can almost understand how these moments in our collective and brutal human history get started. What is so incomprehensible to me is how they continue even when reason and love step in. People get entrenched in their beliefs. This is how it has always been. If we let go of the old and painful what will we replace it with? If we change....
Obviously the issues of the Middle East, the Sudan, Bosnia, Darfur are so much deeper than I could ever address here, and it bares stating that all it takes is for us to change our minds. To try the unknown. And maybe let go of a belief that does not serve us anymore. No one has the right to take another's life. We as "rational" beings justify "when" it is acceptable to do so. As soon as that rule is on the books it is open season. Because we humans can rationally justify anything. We devalued life a long time ago and coming back from that may be almost impossible. We do need to cultivate a culture of life. A respect for the living (and no I don't want to get into a pro and anti-choice debate here, but that is definitely part of it).

Honestly, I don't understand it either. Especially since part of my family presently lives in areas of violence - the Middle East, poverty, illness, hopelessness - I want an answer to this question too. And I guess, like everything else I will have to change myself and hold life and people in a place of value. And hope that, for now, it is enough.

We are blessed, may we recognize the blessing

in peace

photo: velvetart

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