I cannot un-see the dirty cheeks: the little toothless boy in the back of the ambulance. It was a bomb. How many of his family lay buried beneath the rubble, I’ll never know, I looked away. Every so often I see him there, though, that beautiful little boy in my mind. The Son of another, and yet, somehow, my Son, too.
We need to change, don’t we, before we explode ourselves into oblivion. I’ll be the broken record, again, and tell you that I don’t believe change can come from the blaming, shaming, incarcerating narrative we seem to have clung to as a so called intelligent species.
We’ve sent men to the moon.
And yet, still, we continue to feed our egos around the water cooler, blaming and shaming the perpetrators of crime, rather than working with our empathy to understand, and gently shift team humanity to a better place.
I know it’s hard. We are human, after all, we are designed to fight and defend: and thank goodness for that, or we’d never have survived our caveman days. I wonder if we might be able to think about it for a moment, though, perhaps use our hearts a little more in our decision making processes going forward?
What if, for a moment, rather than jumping to the attack, we looked into the humanity of the ‘monsters’. What if, for a moment, we saw criminals as humans, just like us, who believe different things, and do not know how to perceive any differently without a quiet (persistent) conversation. Will we change them by attacking them? No. I don’t believe so.
I always come back to a wonderful writing quote I learned when studying for my masters: Every villain is the hero of his own story. It’s true of understanding the inner workings of a good story, and it’s true of understanding the dark side of humanity. A person will not change if he believes he is acting for good. Many a villain does, in fact, act with the absolute belief that he is working for the good of someone. Unfortunately, there is often a loser. How do we fix this? I don’t know. But I know it’s not with anger and hate.
I wonder: is it time we looked at ourselves, finally, and admitted the truth. We’re on the same team. Can we not fight to save the lives of the murderers of the world, before they kill again? Can we not fight to see the point of view of the next car bomber, before he feels the need to play a game that nobody wins?
I wonder those things sometimes.
I might keep wondering about them some more.