When I was 17 I used to borrow my mother's car. It was a 1986 Ford Taurus with a big pink sticker on the back that said "visualize world peace." To my 17 year old world nothing was cool about it. I used to carefully peel off the sticker from the bumper and attach it to the dashboard. I did not want anyone catching me driving around with such a lame sticker on the back of an already lame car.
In college I studied forensic anthropology under the professor that worked both the Oklahoma City bombing and the Branch Dividian fire. He said that whenever he worked a case the blood and bodies would never affect him. He could work on the body of a child that had been crushed by a bus and he would be OK. However, when he saw the crushed frame of a bicycle he would burst into tears.
Terrible things are unfolding in the world right now. I have been watching the news with shock and disbelief with the rest of the world. The images of planes and burning buildings are haunting. But when I watched it I was OK. Then on the news they showed a scene from Palestine. Old women were dancing and celebrating in the streets because they had heard the news of the attack.
I openly wept.
I wept for these people so full of anger and pain they relish in the misery and destruction of others. I wept because because this is the cause of the tragedies that humans purposefully inflict on one another. I wept because they are lost children. I wept because the this joy they felt was the reason so many others were hurting.
When a society makes enemies with another society an interesting process called dehumanization starts. Basically one group transforms the other group in their minds. They demonize them or make them less than human. During World War 2 the allies painted the Japanese as robots. The Japanese believed the Americans to be demons. The Nazis likened the Jews to a disease. This happens in every war.
It deeply saddens me to see another society viewing mine as demons.
Dehumanization happens because it is easy to kill a robot, demon, zealot, or animal. It is not easy to kill a human of equal value.
In the Tao De Jing:
"When it comes time to pick up the weapons of war, one should do so with a heavy heart."
...and so the kharmic wheel turns and the old hate creates new. Many people have died and many more will. The weapons of war are being readied, hopefully with the most heavy of hearts. I see the things that must be done, but I pray I never see in the streets of America what I saw in those streets of Palestine - celebration of the misery of others.
Now I wish to God I had never taken that sticker off my mother's car that said "Visualize World Peace." I don't just visualize it. I pray for it, I scream to the heavens for it. I feel a great sadness in its eternal absence. Maybe world peace is an impossible dream, but if we don't visualize it we never stand a chance of even tasting it.
Visualize World Peace
Walk In Peace