Island Blog 201 Solidarity

I wonder how the world is feeling now?  Since my last, there have been two terrorist attacks on ordinary folk who were just being ordinary folk.  It is beyond belief, such terrible acts of destruction, and yet, they keep happening, and in the name of a god.

In my heart, I know that no god desires such homily to his or her name.  A god, by definition is a deity way above the foolishness of we humans, a loving spirit whose whole ethos is to protect, uplift, inspire and preserve life in all her glorious forms.  The care of people, land, productivity and beauty all come into a god’s curriculum.  All gods, bar none, are worshipped and venerated because of their unseen force for good.  I couldn’t name them all, nor does it matter, because what matters is the way they can work within our lives, collectively as the human race and individually inside a single life.  Some call it coincidence; some the result of prayer and faith, but no matter what a person believes in, I would like to bet that none of us think of any god as destructive, excluding, perhaps, the ancient Greeks who have long lost their credibility as time erases any chance of proving that when Zeus is in a bad mood, earth suffers.

What happens as a result of such insane destruction is all about the rise of the people; true socialism wherein we all help each other.  Heroes are not born heroes.  Heroes rise from the inferno to show their true colours, colours they always had but were never called upon to bring into the light.  There are those who begin charities, those who visit, those who volunteer, befriend, support and those who make cups of tea.  In short, disasters of any sort bring us together in solidarity and strength.  We will not be broken by any act of destruction, god or no god.  We have been formed this way from the very beginning, whether we believe in Adam and Eve or the Big Bang, or evolution from apes or a bit of all three.  It matters not in the long run, although it can certainly cause us to dismiss each other as fools when we come up against an opposing opinion.

Perhaps that’s the problem.  If we cannot even consider listening to someone who believes in a different beginning, different gods or no gods at all, perhaps we play a part in this war of worlds.  Road rage, bad temper in a Tesco queue, cruel whispers, sloppy relational behaviour all sow seeds of anger along our streets and inside our homes.  People are different, some more than others, but we are unwise to think we are safe inside our little cliques.  People Like Us are all very well and easy to associate with.  After all, we share ideas, likes and dislikes, opinions, taste in music, ethics and morals.  So what about People Unlike Us?  Well, they’re over there somewhere, out of our gardens our homes and schools, out of our line of sight.

No, they are not.  They are right here under our noses and they are humans too.  What I find quite wonderful is the learning I can gain if I step off my middle class path and into the scrub.  Of course, once I step, I find it isn’t scrub at all, but another path brimming with colourful and interesting people, and yet another and another, and all of them moving towards the same horizon.  How come I never noticed that before?  There I was feeling safe and superior, thinking I knew it all, when in fact, I know nothing.  The more I learn about another person’s life, the more I look back at my own to find it needs a lot more than a couple of tweaks.

It is so easy to protect ourselves with things and gadgets, new kitchens, cars and home security systems, those of us who can afford such choices.  We can walk this way every day until someone or something destroys it, just like that.  It can be an act of destruction, mindless, so they say, but it is not mindless at all.  Each attack was well planned and thought through, and that is the part that chills us most.  All we can depend on is each other, a collective strength, one big open heart, one big open mind ready to be kind right where we are, now, today, this minute, and especially to that person over there who bugs the hell out of us.

This is a beginning we can all be a part of.