Friday, March 25, 2011

How did we get here?!

So this thought came to me today, and to be honest, I'm not even really sure where I'm going with it, but hopefully it'll make some sense. I was listening to some Bollywood music, and I was kidding around with myself (internal monologue), thinking, "I like this music so much, there must be some Indian in me somewhere...waaaay back...many, many centuries back..." Then I snickered at my own ridiculous thought, but as I did, it hit me. Technically, I do.

Here's what I mean. Taking creation from a Biblical perspective, as I do, I know that we all are descendants of Adam and Eve. So we're all linked together by our waaay, waaay back heritage. We all look different, we all sound different, we all have different languages, and most of us don't know eachother. Although many people have pretty impressive friends lists on Facebook and whatnot (my pastor has an impressive 700-some-odd), just shy of 7 billion would take a LOT of networking! Nevertheless, we're all connected. We're all brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, inlaws, name it. And if that's true, then it begs the question, why don't we act like it?

I think about my family, and I would do pretty much anything for them! My kids? I would take a bullet for them without even thinking about it. My husband? I would fight like mad if someone ever tried to mess with him. (Although, let's face it, he could hold his own waaay better than I could ever protect him, but its the principle of it.) My parents? I'd kick some butt for them. My siblings? Well, I've already verbally stood down some of my sister's former druggie friends, so conclude what you want from there. My grandpa? My aunts and uncles? My cousins? My neice and nephews? My inlaws? Yep, yep, yep, yep, and yep. And yeah, even my outlaws. (There aren't many of them though, truth be told.) Some of my family members can be trying and taxing, and some of them drive me nuts, but they're still my family.

So, on a larger scale, at what point did we decide that the black sheep was worth killing? Looking at a micro-family scale, that would be pretty messed up, right? Yet somehow (back to the global family), once the family grows, those on the fringes become the target. Those who look differently, think differently, act differently, believe differently, live their lives differently, talk differently...and so on...have now become enemies. And why? Because we don't want to accept them. We don't want to try harder to understand and love them. They are the wierd Aunt Greta, with bad breath, false teeth, a funny smell, too many cats, and a few packs a day habit, and therefore need to be avoided like the plague, lest we "catch" whatever it is that did this to poor Greta. (No disrespect to any relatives - mine or others - who fall into that category. Or anyone named Greta.)

I also was thinking, because today has been a fine example between my kids, siblings squabble! Its what they do! Shoot, I'm all grown up and my siblings and I still squabble sometimes. But when it all blows over, I still love them and they still love me. We find a resolution, sometimes a compromise, and we move on.

Its unrealistic to think that, amongst global brothers and sisters there won't be squabbles. That's inevitable. But we need to stop acting like children and get over it! Just because your brother hit you first, doesn't mean you now get to grab a boxing glove and knock his teeth out. In the same token, just because one country wrongs another, doesn't mean we get to bring out the tanks, guns, M16's, rifles, bombs, missiles...and whatever else we've got stored in the toybox...and retaliate with great force.

How did we get to this point? When did we decide that its okay to torture and kill eachother? At what point did we decide that civility, tolerance, acceptance, and love is only for some and not for all? When did we decide that extending an olive branch was more work than pointing a gun in someone's face?

I know I'm being hyperbolic, but this is something that just breaks my heart, and if hyperboles and analogies are the only way to make my point, then so be it, because I think it needs to be made. Way too many people, all around the globe, turn a blind eye to the killing, torture, hurt, pain, suffering, famine, disease, and war in this world. Or worse, we justify it with the pathetic excuse, "Well, he did it first." You know what I tell my kids when they use that excuse? "I don't care who did it first, I care that it stops right now." The world is far too full of bullying big brothers who will whomp on you if you don't do exactly what they say, and far too void of sweet little sisters who just want a quiet, peaceful afternoon tea party. We can perpetuate the bullying and abuse, but if we do, it will never end. Of that I am certain.

It just pains me to see family hurting family. Somewhere out there, I know I have an Afghani brother who is scared for his life. A Libyan sister just trying to survive. A Somali cousin with barely enough to eat. An Iraqi nephew wondering what has happened to his home. And it absolutely breaks my heart. It breaks my heart that our family is full of so many bullies and self-absorbed people who don't care. I just want to see the violence end and my extended family to live free of fear, pain, and suffering. Is that too much to hope for?

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