I’ve often wondered if we are all actually made from the same exact mold. It is unsettling to imagine that something could inspire me to do things that the most offensive of society would do to others, particularly the most innocent; I am convinced that I would not, because it is not only not in my nature, but contradictory to everything that I care most about – the protection of the innocent, the fortification of the human spirit.
But then again, I started off with extremely loving parents. My mother, before she went awry, was a very compassionate human being. My father, mind and spirit intact, is still very kind and compassionate. I wasn’t raised lacking love or connection, kindness or provision. I don’t know how severe deficiency in any of those needs may alter our brain, the center of control for our overall well-being, including our perceptions of the world and judgment when we are called to action.
Today marks the 12th anniversary of the attacks of September 11th, 2001. I think of how the terrorists that were involved lived, thought, were forced to live, were taught to think. Our universal molds deviated from each other’s; thus, we formed differently, grew in different directions.
What if we were born and raised there, with their values and belief systems?
What if we were born and raised within the Westboro Baptist Church’s doctrines? In our own free country, shut off from free will and free thinking, the advocacy of oppression and condemnation to others is practiced.
And even if one is not in an extremely reclusive environment, the torch of negativity can often be passed down from one’s own parental figures. After all, our parents, by nature, are supposed to be THE model for our future selves. Some of us take that to heart, for good or bad.
When I see movies or footage of “terrorists,” or even communists, the oppressors of my country of origin, who have taken over my parents’ mother land and destroyed the lives of so many soldiers of this great country I call home, I see ordinary people. Some are small, clearly not well off, and many or most with family and children whom they love and want to protect.
I think of the ignorance of so many in our own country, fearful, and angry, to mask their fears and justify their harmful acts towards another innocent person, and prideful to validate their sense of worth and perpetuate the cycle.
Within the culturally diverse DC metro area, I hear stories from my daughter of kids who preach disdain and disgust against the gay community. I find it hard to believe that such hatred in these kids comes from nowhere.
Can you imagine? A new generation of intolerance for what is different, but not harming anyone, is sprung, even in our day and age, even with our technology and information, even with our open media. What chance does a socioeconomically disadvantaged terrorist within an oppressive organization with a hate-promoting campaign have? Their molds are broken, as are those of all around them. This is normal. This is the way to be. This is what they think, believe, and thus “know.” This could be me. Any of us.
So universal compassion, I advocate, yes.
Forgiveness, however, is a personal matter. Stay tuned.