June 7th, 2010 16:50 EST
As The War Machine Keeps Turning
In last night`s dreaming, I met, in my travels, a girl of about 6 years, who got an action figure playset.
The kind you might see accompanying c.
But it was rather plain, unadorned-- which irked her enough to mention this disappointment to me.
Something was missing, she intuited and commented. Upon brief consideration, I determined that what it was lacking was weaponry. She agreed, and so I put a single cannon front and center. She was pleased and I began to wander off, my work here done.
Then, before I went 5 steps, I heard a commotion in the distance behind me, as that girl commenced with bombarding a nearby city, literally " on the nearby planet Vulcan.
Hey, this was a dream. Just go with it. I witnessed first hand the devastation-- the utter inconvenience and idiocy-- wrought so innocently . Action separated from consequences.
Turns out, I had friends living at ground zero.
The point-- if a point there must be-- is an awareness of how casually and carelessly we instill and facilitate, typify and glorify, the idea of assault in the impressionable minds of our children. Many of us comfort ourselves with a delusion that people are naturally born good, that they inherently know right from wrong. All evidence to the contrary, as we witness infants and toddlers at play. They are innately and abundantly self-centered.
In their minds, the world revolves around them. They demand and expect immediate gratification, and everyone around them exists to serve that goal. They think about and are concerned with only themselves and their own interests. They don`t know any better. And some never learn, continuing the myopically selfish behavior as adults. They don`t care who gets hurt, as long as it isn`t them, and as long as they get what they want.
If they see something they want, they take it. Or try to. Or order it given to them.
They have no concept of ownership, and yet, even as they seek to possess. Everything is theirs, they assume. Gimme! "
Mine! ", you can hear them declare in their war cry. Humans are, by nature, conquerors. We can do this aggressively or passively.
Forgive them, Lord. They Know not what they do.
They don`t have a default setting for empathy, although some are automatically more inclined. But for most, empathy is learned. Just as war is.
This may seem a cynical thesis. I`m still an optimist. But there is being optimistic " and there is being foolishly oblivious.
Look at much of our fiction. If we want to make the story more interesting " to spice " things up " what do we do? We make war. We fight. What does this say about us? It is so, because we make it so.
We normalize war. We have an infinite capacity to create ways to destroy. What is often overlooked is that we also have infinite capacity to choose not to.
It`s all fun and games until someone loses an eye?
Bang Bang. You`re dead! "
From the mouths of babes?
What`s wrong with this picture?