No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background or his religion - Nelson Mandela
I woke up in the wee hours today and as I am often sleepless at 3 or 4 am and I picked up my iPad and brought the rest of the world into my bed with me. I found it so bittersweet as I saw that Google had created a birthday tribute message to the great Nelson Mandela reminding us all that we are capable of unlearning hate. The next thing I saw was the tragic result of that hate. The unwarranted attack of a Malaysian passenger jet over the Ukraine near the Russian border...295 crew and passengers dead.
As early as I can remember, as a child of the sixties, I have been listening to words such as Mandela's. Haven't we all? Martin Luther King Jr. Gandhi. The Dalai Lama. Maya Angelou. Musicians. Poets. Writers. And all the while, as these great men and women who have stood before us and spread their messages of peace and love, we watched wars and hatred continue to unfold daily. It is as though their words have fallen upon deaf ears. Educated nations and leaders (and a few uneducated ones too) continue to support these violent methods as their path to winning. I don't get it.
When we teach our children how to get along with others we don't tell them to injure or kill their playmates over a game of Monopoly or on the soccer field or at a dance competition. And yet, these same children grow up, supposedly into mature adults, and one day give the command to release a missile aimed at a jet they are not even sure poses a threat to them. And what have they won? Has anybody won anything? How do they live with themselves? Do they go home at the end of the day and kiss their wives (or husbands) and tuck their children in and sleep soundly knowing they have just ended the lives of 295 souls and left thousands of friends and family grief-stricken for life? Who are these people? Who are these supposed humans? They must be without a conscience.
Perhaps what we need in our schools worldwide is a course called Conscious Living 101. Starting in Kindergarten, or sooner.
Maybe that is the answer. For as long as there are human beings living unconsciously, there will never be peace in this world.
Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world. - Nelson Mandela
If we would only take heed.