facing the future
facing the future
I dreamed last night about funerals of children. One after another, day after day, tiny little coffins being led into this massive church. I heard all their names and ages, I saw them in little white dresses and communion suits and was told the ways in which they died. They all were victims of war. I woke up crying.
I've gone back to watching the news again. My hiatus lasted all of one day. I decided that blissful ignorance is not the way to go. I want to be armed and informed when arguing and debating with people whose opinions differ from mine. I flip through all the news channels; CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews. It brings me great worry and anxiety to see where the world is headed. It's the kind of anxiety that a daily dose of Paxil is not going to help. It should be there for all of us. Not just worry-warts like me.
They were talking on several of the stations last night about gas embargos and whether or not we will witness a repeat of the time when their were long gas lines. I remember those days well. Odd numbered license plates could get gas only on odd days. The cars on line at the gas stations snaked around the side streets, interrupting our kick ball games. I worried even then about the future of our world. I asked a lot of questions. My friends went on with their kick ball games. I went inside to read the paper and find out why. Why our parents always had this look of concern on their faces.
It's the same thing now. My kids want to know. Are we still at war? Is there going to be a nuclear war? Will the world still be here ten years from now? Twenty? What happens when the ozone layer is gone? What if there is no more clean water? Are there going to be more terrorist attacks? Why are people so mean? Why do they kill? Why do kids have to die?
My parents always had vague answers to those questions when I asked them. My answers to my own children are no better. I don't want to frighten them, yet I don't want to be all Pollyana with them either. I want them to know the world is a scary, sometimes evil place, because I want to them to find the spirit to change it. I want them to grow up to be people who will work for change, who will want to make this world a better place instead of hiding their heads in the sand and pretending everything is ok.
But honestly, I can't answer all their why questions. Because I don't know. I don't know why some people think it is ok to walk into a crowded restaurant strapped with explosives. I don't know why people spend their whole lives honing and sharpening their hatred. I don't know why no one will stop our natural resources from disappearing or why some people kill their own children or why bullies roam the hallways of every school and no one ever thinks to blame them when an otherwise meek child explodes in rage.
I'm sad that this is the world I have released my children into. I am sad that every day is fraught with worries and questions and visions of war. I am sad that so much of their lessons in school have to do with saying no to bullies and no to drugs and no to sex and there is not enough lessons that say yes to change and yes to speaking up and yes to finding the positive things in life. I am sad that they take these things into their sleep every night where the worries manifest themselves into nightmares.
I want to arm them with confidence and hope. But how can I when I don't even have those things for myself?