• Posted: Dec 15, 2012 20:50:47
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28, you see it in the image above. 28, you saw it in the news yesterday.
No doubt the day before you saw an even higher tally, and the day before that, and the day before that. And tomorrow we will see yet another tally of senseless carnage, and again the day after that, and the day after that.
No one wants it. Everyone feels it. We ask, how could this happen? How could anyone possibly think such senseless irrevocable violence a good idea?
Is the antidote to stop producing weapons? Is the answer straight jackets and handcuffs for everyone? Is it really that none of us can be trusted with each other's welfare? Should we all be placed under suspicion for callousness, cruelty, and unkindness? Could any one of us eventually erupt into blind viscous rage at some gross unthinking injustice we've fallen victim to?
We are our brother's keeper. And our sister's. And our neighbor's. And they are our keepers. We hold each other's fate and wellbeing in our own hands in everything we do. It is the most important lesson. It is the continuous lesson. There is no other that is more important now or ever will be.
But then how could it be that so many have never learned that lesson? How could it be that so many amongst us are convinced that no one is watching out for them? That everyone else is merely trying to exploit or rip them off or trample them over? How could so many of us come to believe that that is the most important lesson to learn if we are to survive?
I listened to a podcast by NPR's Planet Money team earlier this week. It was about preschool, that time before grade school when children learn how to get along with each other, how to pay attention, control their emotions, take their turn, and learn to appreciate learning and the uniqueness and talents of each other. The podcast reviewed research that undeniably demonstrated that children who are afforded the experience of a quality preschool develop differently than those who do not. And that difference has been shown to last throughout their entire school experience and well into their adult lives, with better health, fewer social problems, better work records, and higher earnings. In short, pre-schooled children are much more likely to care about their fellows and, in turn, be appreciated for that caring. And, they are far less likely to turn to violence as remedy for feeling unappreciated and exploited.
There may be no remedy for the discontent and violence currently brewing amongst us. We have been too blind to its development for too long to stem its tide. But, in another 50 years most of us who have proved such failures at caring for each other will be dead and buried along with our selfish incompetence. Perhaps at some point before then we will at least try to give the next generations a better start at learning the much neglected lesson of compassionately caring for each other.
Please, may it eventually come to be so.
Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
12 mm 57 mm