Wednesday, November 24, 2010

November to Remember: Thankfulness, In Spite of It All

History in the United States shows some gruesome detail. In summary, a lot of new-comers slaughtered existing inhabitants AND WERE THANKFUL.

In all fairness to WORLD history, this is generally how it has been done. Being threatened with survival (think in broad terms on this one), persecuted, starved, enslaved, or overtaken, one group heads for another spot to squat. (My personal ancestors, for example, were persecuted for some 700 years, so they eventually with the help of modern transportation, left for another locale. Those who stayed were killed, starved, taxed to pieces, or raped almost out of existence, but not quite.)

It's a paradox often repeated on the planet. Distain the life you are subjected to, leave for another spot and subject others to you. I do not personally condone this pattern, but I do understand how it happens in every generation. If each of us were to carefully trace our roots, somebody in our tree has promoted or protected their interests and it wasn't for free. This can happen on many levels, a physical, emotional, mental or spiritual death are equal killers. Terrible, nay, unimaginable things have happened to many people over many years; they are still occuring today all over the world, even as I write.

After World War II, a motto arose that said, "Never Again." World genocide watch groups, socio-economic promotion coalitions, and even school handbooks say, "NEVER". Yet, time and again and with the supervision of many onlookers, newly minted victims can be tallied daily. Why?

The nanny/parent in me looks around and says, "use your words." In a world so saturated with media, we fail to communicate the essential parts of ourselves that reveal dark motive. "I'm scared. I'm insecure. I'm threatened by you. I'm hungry. I'm oppressed. I am in pain. I need more than I have." More importanly spoken words would be, "I have the ability to harm you, just like you have the ability to harm me."

History repeats itself because we neglect to identify, in ourselves those things which motivated our ancestors to harm others. "We" are not "them". "We" would never do such things. "They" were awful, terrible tyrrants. "We" are good, wholesome, holistic, attunded citizens.

I urge you. Take a look again. Do not lose heart when you do.

There is hope. Upon learning of the atrocities that did occur on the foundation of any nation or nation-state, however, grieving can occur.Whether we have experience or empathize with persecution, we can resonate with a number of less-than associations: loss, unfairness, inequality, racism, sexism, ethnic cleansing, powerlessness,and pain.

Grieving brings release. Release brings healing. Healing brings wholeness and the potential to start anew, right where we are. Let us, in this season, not only be truth-tellers, but healers; not only historians, but moral teachers; not only be victims, but over-comers.

Today, and in conclusion of this November to Remember, I am thankful that in our lives and in this time, if we choose it to be, another, less deadly path is possible.

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