Horrific facebook images of Gaza divorcing us from our own reality?
A campaigner I admire was questioning the value of us seeing the horrific images of children dying in Gaza bombarding our facebook streams.
And I wondered – if I was to collate and post images of children self-harming due to the agony of the war raging between their divorcing parents, would people be so quick to share and like and comment?
It is not the images of the horrors in Gaza that are the problem for me though – it is the context. Everyone shouts “Do something” – but then does absolutely nothing that will make any difference. Where is the education? Where is the opportunity for change?
Showing blackened lungs does not prevent smoking, so if images will not prevent self-harm, how will they help us to not harm others? Josh Fox is not changing the world simply with moving images of children sick from poisoning due to fracking. He is changing the world by saying there are alternatives and helping communities to make those alternatives work in practice.
So where is the education and inspiration in these angry bitter horrified Facebook posts of dying children?
What I see in the images of Gaza’s dying children is anger and condemnation and judgement being fuelled back into the mix. What would happen if we lined up all the parents whose anger during divorce resulted in children self-harming – cutting themselves, not eating, addictive behaviours, and the other ways they are increasingly expressing the trauma of their situation? A situation that is getting worse, and yet no-one is talking about it, or putting images on facebook.
What good would it do if we judged and shouted at them and told them to stop their battle because they are harming their children? They would merely retaliate back, blaming each other for breaking the ceasefires. Claiming victim status in a war of attrition.
All aggression and anger is a cry for love. If we can all stop separating and judging and taking sides, accept the insanity as a violent projection of our own anger and separation and violence – now that would be much harder to look at square in the face. A harder picture to bare. But if we could meditate on that, the doors would open to forgiveness and fear would evaporate. And in that light we may find something that we can do in our lives, our own everyday wars, where like Polly Higgins‘ inspirational campaign for the International Law on Ecocide, there is a sense of compassion and love for those that create the barriers to change, and an understanding that although they may be in error, that they will inevitably see the light in due course as others lead the way for them – rather than basing her campaign on a belief in separation and being on ‘opposite sides’.
As we wake up and refuse to see separation and refuse to judge, those walls begin to tumble, the light comes on, and the whole world changes.
So those divorcing parents lined up in the firing line blind to the suffering of their children, are we going to condemn and blame and separate ourselves from them? Or are we going to recognise that dealing with our pain and anger has always – and will always – impact on our families whether we like it or not. Can we really honestly cast the first stone when we look at those parents in their expensive, painful, lawyer-driven calls for love, and deny that we have never impacted negatively on our children?
I can’t lay claim to that.
I am lucky that my small army of three have learnt the skills of creating ceasefires when I have fallen into the trap of firing negative bullets about their dad within earshot (and they have good hearing when they choose to). They put up the shields and cry: “Don’t say bad things about our dad!” And I retreat fast and then thank and bless them for helping me wake up to my harmful and futile behaviour. They help me not to dumb down or bury my thoughts at that time – but to see the ludicrousness of it all and deal with what is really bothering me, which is never their dad. I am in charge of my world and how I feel. Not him or anyone else.
Looking at those pictures from Gaza and seeing ourselves as the perpetrator (did you not ever vote for a Government that has invested in the arming and training of those armies? Have you never sent a virtual missile against a neighbour? Have you never thrown a stone of judgement and seen another living being as separate from you?) Then meditate on that. For that is where Peace lies hidden.
When we see that the insanity extends to our own everyday internal lives, then rather than blast out judgement and fuel the hatred and chaos even further, we can choose instead to try to forgive those who act in error, and in doing so, forgive ourselves.
Extrapolate that as a way of being, and you will feel that Peace already begins to take the upper hand.
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