Wednesday, November 16, 2016

If we’ve forgotten


Of course we’ve seen how children, even those brought into the world in anger, confusion, ignorance, and despair, begin their lives with hearts free of prejudice and hate, looking on the world and the faces around them with wonder and love. We’ve seen, likewise, how they must be taught the things that divide us, taught about skin color, taught about flags, taught about guns, taught about borders, and how every superficial difference must be emphasized in order to make them proper patriotic individuals able to justify violent physical and psychological behavior directed at those they now perceive as “others,” to the point that they are willing to kill them, starve them, mock them, shame them, embarrass them, isolate them, and shove them aside. We’ve seen this, and have perhaps even participated in it to some degree, even as some deep part of us laments and decries such behavior, that deep original love that we were born with and that has been silenced through the very same means. We’ve seen this, and we’ve seen the results, the wars, the riots, the starvation, the posturing, the lying, the name-calling, and yet we are willing to think it has always, and must always, be this way. We yell, we vote, we point fingers, we wring our hands, we predict the worst and say I told you so when the worst comes true, without realizing that the very prediction, made millions of times over, helped to strengthen the possibility, without realizing that every time we uttered the unspeakable, every time we emphasized our superficial differences, we helped strengthen them, helped polish their armor, helped sharpen their battle axes, helped dig their trenches, and joined in bristling along their flimsy, fleeting, imaginary borders. Instead of saying and living and believing in love, we buy political, religious, and philosophical insurance policies, only to be surprised when the companies we invested in are spiritually and morally bankrupt. We, once innocent children full of love for all, with little children still springing up hopefully all around us, beseeching, teaching us with their eyes, we, safe on our couches, throwing our little poisonous darts on social media, perhaps even with children of our own under the very same roof, in the very same room — lord almighty, folks. And we’re still surprised? If we’ve forgotten how to love, if we no longer know what love is, the children are still here to teach us, without judgment, without coercion, without the desire for any result. And they are inside us, too. Here, in the hands we hold out.



6 comments:

Jonathan Chant said...

Thank you, William. We need this reminder.

William Michaelian said...

Thank you, Jonathan.

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Thank you, William.

For all of us.

Gary

William Michaelian said...

Thank you too, Gary.

erin said...

yes, it begins to dawn on me, that now is the time to love harder and with greater ferocity than ever. it seems the only course of action that makes sense.

William Michaelian said...

It is. It always has been. Thank you, Erin.