Lest We Forget

11 11 2008

Today is the day when I can’t help but remember how totally fucking stupid we human beings really are. How we refuse to believe that there are things more important than our own possessions and obsessions. How we pay lip service to ideas like equality and justice and peace when it’s easy. How reluctant we are to believe that losing and hurting and dying feel the same for us as they do for the stranger whose eyes we’ll never meet.

I don’t know how to explain today to my children. School has done a good job teaching them the rote ideas like ‘wear a poppy’ and ‘ remember the brave men who died’ and ‘say Happy Remembrance Day’. On one hand I want them to know more. I want them to know about the complexities of politics and the impossibilities of peace. I want them to know the stories of terrified men and women the world over who died fighting for life. I want them to comprehend the notion of sacrifice, beyond just shutting up for one minute, one day a year. I want them to know that ‘Never Again’ was wishful thinking, and Remembrance Day should never be preceded by the word Happy, and that it’s not all about being able to recite In Flanders Fields with a big dumb grin glued on your face. It’s about real violence and real death and real grief and real destruction and real degradation of all of humanity. I want them to know how totally fucking stupid we humans really are because we can’t get our collective act together enough to stop massacring each other. No matter how hard we try. And it has been, and probably will be forever thus.

On the other hand, I don’t want them to know a damn thing about the why and the how of this day. I don’t want them to have a clue about violence, or death, or grief, or destruction, or degradation, real or otherwise. I want them to believe that compassion and intelligence can prevail. That all is fair in love, and that nothing is fair in war. That equality and justice and peace can be present in every word, every thought, every moment, every person. That the warmth of the sun, the joy of a belly laugh, and the security of love feel the same for them as they do for the stranger whose eyes they’ll never meet. I want to tell them that we humans might not be so fucking stupid after all.

“Let us resolve afresh at the dawn of this new century… that this might be a truly pacific peaceful century.” – Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd




2 responses

11 11 2008
Papa and nanny

Good luck with that.There will always be Hitlers and Bushes.The question is do we let them win ?Do we let the world be ruled by fear and violence or do we dare to be a Daniel and stand up and say “This is wrong.”
That’s what those men did in days gone by. They risked it all to be able to say “We disagree, Mr. Hitler.” There is no one superior race and we’ll put our lives on the line to prove it.”
Yes it is sad that we can’t cooperate and make this world a better place.It has been forever thus. Today as we think of those who died maybe we can say a little prayer that the world will someday be a better place if each and everyone of us does something each day in our own way to make it so.

16 11 2008

Amen, Sister!

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