If we manage to avoid cancer, heart disease or diabetes, get great genes and don’t develop Parkinson’s, MS or Alzheimer’s, and don’t crash a car or get hit by one, get struck by lightening or slip and break our necks, we could get really lucky and live to a hundred or more. Given the states of the first and last twenty years of our lives, we really only have 60 years, at our luckiest to make our mark on the world.
There are two ways to be. We can love or we can hate or so it seems when we start out. Because somehow in the disastrous fray of this world even the lovers come to hate the haters. Hate is our enemy. Hate solves nothing and yet we cling to it with righteous fervor. Wars don’t count. Wars kill my loved ones and yours. Social media perpetuates it. We show videos to support our beliefs and to discredit our enemy’s. We exist in a constant state of crowd mentality. Love and acceptance of all people is elbowed out. There is no room for it on our Facebook pages or in our hearts.
Research shows us that humans are born with a natural propensity for empathy. Empathy, the ability to put oneself in another’s shoes, is our greatest weapon in the war on hatred. The empathy that we allow our children to develop and cultivate occurs early in their lives. In many cases, by the age of five we are already who we are to become.
How can we mess up so badly. How can we teach some of our children to not fear death but to fear instead the disgrace and shame of not embracing it, that to be right is more important than happiness. As a mother it is beyond my understanding how parents can not want their child’s safety and happiness above all else. A mother’s instinct across the board of all living creatures is to fiercely protect their children. Humans are the only ones who have buried this basic instinct and allowed ourselves to believe that for the greater good it’s okay to send our children to fight our wars, to wear them as shields and to teach them that dying for our cause is a godly achievement. Let us love our children more than we hate each other.
And then the world and world leaders try with great futility to sort things out because we can rarely change adults once their course has been set in stone.
We have to reach the children. Children are the key to everything. Children are the beginning and the end.