Friday, September 21, 2012

"It's NOT Fair!" ...

“Stop & Stare” … A Song By One Republic … “Fair ain’t what you really need” One of the lines from the song.  How many times do hear children say “That’s not fair!” And how do you reply to this emotionally charged expletive?  Or rather, I should say, what’s the first thought that goes through your mind.  I mean, if you’re being honest. You want to say, “Hey, kid, Life is anything but fair so get used to it!” But how cruel and heartless is that?  That life is not fair is a truth they will come to know on their own, eventually, but how soon do you want or really need to let them in on it? Isn’t it funny the lengths we often go to in order to shield our children from the sometimes cruel realities of this world. Knowing all the while -- if we are being honest with ourselves and them—that at some point we have to let our children in on some of the less pleasant “truths” of our world in order prepare them to face the world on their own someday and actually survive. The trick is to enlighten them in subtle, simple ways that they can come understand gradually, while processing a given truth within the scope of their limited experience, right?

Isn’t it funny --albiet a sad kind of funny ... sometimes you have to laugh just to keep from crying-- how so much of what is going on the world today is worthy of that simple, innocent childhood response: “That’s not fair!” It’s not fair that an innocent man, an ambassador of goodwill, working to forge meaningful political and economic relationships with a “neighboring” country should be dragged from the embassy where he worked. That he should be brutally tortured, sodomized and dragged through the streets before finally surrendering to his death. It’s not fair that an analyst working at the same embassy and two Navy Seals, staying at an adjacent safe house who responded with intent to help fend off the embassy attack, also lost their lives in this brutal attack. It’s insane –forget FAIR!-- to think that four human lives were needlessly taken in retaliation for a perceived insult delivered via a supposed internet video created by a misguided American who does not speak for our country as a whole. It’s not fair –not to mention unconscionable-- that our fellow inhabitants of this rapidly spinning Blue Planet think that it is not only okay to take human lives because of perceived insults due the nature of our different religious and political beliefs, but that they actually believe that doing so is the will of God our Creator?! It’s not fair that millions of Americans can’t find work and have stopped looking. It’s not fair that we live in a world where the cost to put a roof over our heads, food on the table, clothes on our bodies and gas in our cars is sky rocketing out of control with no clear meaningful economic relief in sight. It’s not fair that our nation is so divided along religious and political party lines that we seem to have lost the ability to carry on any meaningful civilized discussions toward the end of alleviating the REAL problems facing our nation as a whole. It’s not fair that religious people judge and condemn others in the name of their religion. It’s not fair that an injured soldier who bravely served his/her country returns home to face nearly insurmountable struggles with insufficient aid and nearly laughable compensation from our government. It’s not fair that the nuclear option is returning to the forefront of conceivable realities for our lifetime, with a now nuclear North Korea and an Iran on the cusp of becoming a nuclear power … especially in light of the escalating hostilities from Middle East towards Americans and the United States. It’s not fair ….

It’s not fair, but the meaningful question here is what are you going to do about it? Taken as a whole, I agree, it ALL is rather overwhelming. So just pick one … one thing that you are going to do, yourself, today to help make the world a better place … to share with our children that, yes, sometimes life isn’t fair, but in those instances you can still have a voice and act to impact change towards a greater end. I think we teach our children best by example, by our actions … not by the easy way out of “do as I say, not as I do.” Our children are watching: what will they learn from us as parents, citizens, members of houses of worship … political parties, communities?

Perhaps you can pray with your children for those who have needlessly lost their lives in terror attacks. Pray for the misguided souls that are being used by politically motivated extremist religious leaders to take innocent lives. Perhaps you will find the courage to speak out against the misguided that act in hate or violence in the name of your religion. Perhaps you will swallow your pride and forgive your neighbor when they insult you for your differing opinion on religious or political matters. Perhaps you will be an informed citizen that actually makes it to the polls on Election day 2012 in order to cast a legitimate vote with the hope of stopping –and ultimately reversing-- the rapidly declining state of our country. Perhaps you will help a friend network and find a job … Make a donation to your local food bank. The opportunities to truly make a difference and impact change are endless. Don’t give up hope … Don’t just bicker and complain: ACT. Our children are watching: what will they learn from us as parents, citizens, members of houses of worship … political parties, communities? Perhaps the most powerful legacy we leave our children is our meaningful action in the face of adversity.

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