Tuesday 5 August 2014

Ethnocentrism: A Modern-Day Illustration

Some days my mind wanders and makes the oddest of correlations.

For instance, today I'm once again choked and verklempt at the utter massacre going on in the Middle East. Truly, I take no sides.  I believe we can all get along.  Live and let live.  Agree to disagree.  Believe in what resonates with you, and give your neighbor the same respect.

Then my mind goes to the kids.  It's the kids that suffer needlessly.  They may know faith and the daily rituals that it demands, but they don't know the hate.  They don't understand the hate.

 Then my mind goes to the kid in my life ... my niece Maddy.  Here's the funny correlation.

Last school year I was helping Madserelli study her spelling and comprehension.  One of the words that she was supposed to know and spell at the age of 10 ... in grade 5 ... was ETHNOCENTRIC.

The definition was:  believing that one group of people is superior to another.

Who knew that the following summer, my niece would see this in action?  No one knew, some suspected, but as I sat there quizzing her that day on the couch, I wasn't sure if I needed to explain that word in modern-day relativity.  I hoped in that moment, that that word was one she'd never have to spell again unless in History class.

And yet ... here we are.

The truth of the matter is this:  we not only see this in action, but we also see the world allowing it to happen. Justifying the murder of innocent people because they are surrounded by extremists who know nothing but hate.  The world and the Governments therein are allowing more blanket coverage by calling all of Palestine Hamas.  Hamas is not Palestine.  Palestine is not Hamas.

In the end, I know I'm not alone when I pray that my niece and her peers aren't watching the news that I see. At 40 I can barely handle it~ the images replaying in my mind as I wait for sleep.  My thoughts going to those others' feelings as I subliminally slip my feet into their war-beaten shoes.  And then I awaken, catching myself looking out my balcony door at the pristine, the peaceful, the world that I live in, wondering what it must feel like to see it all crumble.

Crumbling lives illustrated in blood red.

All I really want to know is this:   what message are we sending to our children worldwide?

Some may say, this shows the youth that we all deserve the right to defend ourselves.  Okay perhaps. Though in 2014 modern day, we teach our kids to communicate with their words not their fists.

Here's another gut-wrenchingly humorous correlation:  even in the fantastical world of Sports where athletes defend themselves for riches and medals and bragging rights, we also see a comparable par system, where fighters fight others of similar caliber.  Competitions are organized based on size, weight, sex, strength.  We would never put a heavy-weight fighter up against a light-weight fighter.  Oh-no that would not be fair!!

Fairness now exists in organized sports, but not in the world of peace-keeping or defending borders.

I don't know about you, but I'm a little ashamed to call myself Human right now.

Peace be with you all.

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