For those of you who have Facebook accounts, you'll remember the beginning, the first time you joined and signed up and did the mic test... testing, 1, 2, 3, is this thing on, what do I say?
And then we sort of got the hang of it...pictures, pokes, presents, status updates, check ins etc. Videos of cute kittens, photos of my mates kids, news from around the globe - what a great way to keep in touch with people and the one liner update was acceptable because we knew where you'd been and what you'd done and I could 'share' the same with hundreds of people simultaneously... we were staying connected virtually, we were sort of together. But, lately, this cool little social media tool has become the most divisive instrument imaginable. Never, ever, in my most vivid poorly conceived imagination could I even contemplate a portal that would show gruesome images and videos of death, savagery, destruction, war, complete and utter lack of respect for the dignity of others the very fabric of humanity that should theoretically unite our species
I give up. I surrender. I don't understand, do you?
I look at beautiful Newbs, I stare into his big brown eyes and see NewbsMum. My heart explodes when little Thomas laughs, his 7 tooth grin. I am in awe as I become more conscious and aware of the phases of development and the innocence and purity of their young souls, endless energy and curiosity. At the same time my very being becomes gripped with an anger, a fury and repulsive hate that I never knew resided within me. This uncontrollable nauseating emotion is directed at those currently in the media who are carrying out the most abhorrent acts of cruelty. I am struggling to write the words, my hands tremble at the thought of a grown man beheading an innocent, angelic, naive child. I've just erased a paragraph in an attempt to spare you, my dear gentle reader the unnecessary anguish of having to read about the atrocities going on right now, this moment. Children, Mothers, Fathers... in a place far away but on our wonderful Earth.
For what? A differing religious belief? An opinion? A perspective other than yours which if unchallenged would leave you free to live your life as you choose. Who ordains individuals with the right to determine who shall live or die, how they should be brutally slaughtered or subjugated. The tragic and glaringly obvious irony is that the very belief that is perpetrating these atrocities is by far the least enlightened of all religions... think about that for a second.... isn't religion supposed to personify and exemplify virtue, tolerance, acceptance and love while the reality is the radical minority is nothing more than savage animals demonstrating a complete lack of intelligence,dignity and compassion. How can any creature profess to carry out actions in the name of an Omnipotent omniscient being when this results in the extinguishing of another life, an innocent precious soul.
Now please don't think for a moment that I am a devout religious person. I come from a lineage of extremely observant and proud Jews. But somewhere along my trajectory into the 21st century, my exposure to secular life and international travel led me to the most extraordinary realization.. people of other religions and beliefs can be good people too. I fell madly in love with a beautiful person, who I married because of who she is, how she treats others, makes me feel and not only because she ticks certain boxes. What does that show? Well I think it shows that we're people, that we are a common species, more than an archaic religion made up of second hand stories, diatribe and tales bound in a 'sacred' book.
We seem to be regressing. Planes being shot out of the sky by missiles, war over land, medieval diseases returning, hate crimes, cruelty to animals & children, abject poverty, starvation, natural disasters, exhausting mineral resources... I could go on. 2014 - aren't we supposed to be at the pinnacle of existence, the very cutting edge of science, philosophy, consciousness and discovery...why then, as a species, as human (un)kind are we systematically destroying each other and clearly demonstrating our inferiority and inability to determine right from wrong, good from evil...the very defining difference that classifies humans from animals - conscience.
I can't help but think that somehow it has to do with our insecurities that is determining our inability to think. What one factor, what one intangible, inexplicable reason is the root cause of this totally incomprehensible behaviour? Religion. pure and simple, belief that has been distorted into an unrecognisable manifestation.
Most of us remain grounded, sane, rational and reasonable...but it's those radical extremists that the world sees, those that are responsible for those horrific videos. I should not look, I shouldn't watch the news or read the papers to protect my heart from exuding only love. But I need to be aware of the damage that certain aspects of religion are doing to our moral fabric of society.
It just makes me sad. It makes me cry and makes my heart sore. I know that we are resilient and the world will recover, we'll get through this. But why should so many be hurt and have to suffer?
I am going upstairs right now and going to kiss my boys. I am going to give my gorgeous wife a hug. And tomorrow I shall smile, be kind to others, do a good deed, help someone less fortunate than me and make a difference because those people, in that far away land cannot win... let's not let them get away with this.
What happened to just being nice to each other!