When did the world become so cruel? I was reading the news the other night and when I read the latest on ISIS, I immediately teared up. They are now selling innocent Christian children that they’ve ripped from the arms of parents as sex slaves. A lot of these children are as young as one year old! How can anyone be as cruel as to pawn off a child as a sex toy? And how can anyone even think of buying a child for sex? It’s hard for me to even write about this without wanting to march over there and tear every one of those monsters limb to limb. It’s so easy to sit here and think about how much I hate them and how much I would love our military to go over and wipe them all out with a single bomb with Have fun in hell mother f***kers! painted on it.
To hate is easy. But what good has it done so far? This kind of brutality has existed since our beginning. There are thousands of stories of religious radicals murdering children and tearing apart innocence just to feel more powerful. And for the most part, humanity has responded with hate. We’ve struck back with more violence in the form of war. You know how they say that “money is the root of all evil”? I say that fear is the root of all evil.
Fear is the beginning of a vicious cycle and it’s time we stop it. I’ve prayed and prayed to God to tell me what, if anything, I can do to make a difference in all of this. The answer I got wasn’t one I expected but it makes perfect sense. The answer lies in our children. They possess a hope and innocence, an uncanny ability to see people behind the illusion of power. Our children, if we teach them, possess the power to change the future of the world.
When we don’t understand someone who is different, history has taught us to fear them. When we fear someone, history has taught us to control them. When we want to control them, history has taught us to turn to violence. This violence has been carried by means of war. Fear breeds hate and violence in an attempt to control people who are different than us. Now I’m not saying that we should all be tree huggers and that war is never the answer but sometimes war is not the answer. The hate and violence that has been demonstrated by ISIS is no longer a problem limited to world leaders and militaries. This is a problem beyond humanity. It’s a problem for God. And it’s time we start listening to him.
I know it’s hard to even believe in God when it seems he’s allowing the world to fall apart in front of us but again, the anger you may feel against God for what’s happening is our attempt to control something we don’t understand. Jesus was murdered in front of his mother and what did he do? He forgave every one of his murderers. He set an example for us to follow. Why? Because he knew of the miracles that unconditional love can achieve. If you were faced on the front lines with ISIS and you knew you had the power to destroy them all, what would you do? I’d probably destroy them and then celebrate after but here’s the thing; even if we destroy them, there will be more. Every one of those members of ISIS were once a small innocent child with an open heart and mind ready to learn and start off on their own path. Somewhere along the way though, they were taught to fear and hate. My point is, is that even if we kill ISIS, there will be more children born who will later on become just as hateful and violent as ISIS. That’s why we have to start seeing beyond our hate and anger. If you were faced with the members of ISIS, God would want you to lay down your weapons and offer them forgiveness because if this type of unconditional love were to be practiced by everyone, it would stop needless hate and violence. It’s so hard to do though. So how do we start turning this tragedy around? We teach our children to love everyone unconditionally.
Teach Acceptance. What if we all accepted each other, differences and all? What if skin color, language and culture didn’t matter? What if whether or not you believed in a higher power didn’t confine you to a religion and specific set of expectations? What if differences were seen as a beautiful way to learn by every person to ever walk this earth? Diversity is what makes our world so beautiful. Our individual differences are what makes us who we are and gives us unique talents that we can use to make a difference.
We, as a species have a history of trying to control people and fit them into a mold that we believe to be acceptable. But this mold is just an illusion. We even do it with our own kids. I wanted my son to grow up to be a piano genius and I tried with no success to cultivate an interest in him. All he wanted to do was learning martial arts and create video games! I found it is better to accept him for his unique interests and encourage his differences than to try and force my own desires and opinions onto him. Love is not about control. It’s acceptance.
Encourage your children to learn about people. To see different cultures as fascinating and skin colors as beautiful. Teach them while they’re young to accept people for who they are and to not try and change them for their own selfish desires. It’s kind of like a rainbow. Even after the storm, all the colors are still there. Our differences will never be controlled by war.
Teach Forgiveness. When someone hurts us, it’s easy to feel angry. We want revenge and to hurt them just as they’ve hurt us. Anger is a natural emotion and a strong one that can fuel hatred. Growing up, my father wasn’t around. He took off to go find a new life after my parents’ divorce. His absence created anger so strong in me that I carried it into my adult years. I would call him and say mean things to him; I would try and try to forget about him. I would try to convince myself that he didn’t love me but every time I did, there was a memory that would break me down. I was about six years old and my father sat across from me on my bed one night after I told him he didn’t love me. He said that if I was in the road and a truck was about to hit me, he’d push me out of the way. That he would give his life for me. My father has never been good about expressing his feelings but for some reason, this confession made me realize that he loves me. I finally realized that holding onto the anger I had for my father was only exhausting me and keeping me from being happy. So I let go of the anger and I forgave him. Ever since, my relationship with my father isn’t an ideal one per say but we are in each other’s lives and we have a good relationship.
It’s so hard to forgive and many of us go through life letting the anger we feel for someone influence those around us in a negative way. Emotions are reactions to feelings and they are highly energized. Energy never disappears, it only changes form. So, on a larger scale, if humanity continues to live with hatred and anger for those who have wronged us, the negative energy will only continue to fuel more violence.
Let’s teach our children to see forgiveness as the way and to set in motion a positive energy that will change the future.
Love is the answer to stopping the violence and hatred that has plagued us since the beginning of our existence. Forgiveness and acceptance is love and the legend we can give our children to arm them with the power to change the world. Love is the legend that God (or any higher power) gave us and it’s time we use it.