Today was a day with just myself and Zach. Zach is not much interested in anything outside of television, and he’s been sick, and I have dragged him to islands and mountains this year, so I let him watch videos today while I cleaned the gutters. This is a job a robot can do, but we haven’t bought the robot yet, so I settled for an old shirt tied to PVC pipe.
From his domain upstairs the boy came down at 9pm to ask if we could watch Star Wars. No arm-twisting necessary for that – so we watched a movie called Star Wars while I continue to think about peace and how nice it would be if everyone could have it. How do you inoculate against violence? Probably not with space ship battles, but space ships are cool.
I am sick to my stomach about what the people in Paris and Beirut are going through right now and I am grateful this is something I’ve never endured – close up. Plenty of people jumped on plenty of bandwagons immediately. People called out other people for doing so from the comfort of their own bandwagons. None of that really matters. People died.
Life is a precious thing but nobody seems to really think about it – we move on from tragedy to tragedy. We’re fortunate in some ways that we are still hit hard by tragedy – it’s become so uncommon that we can be surprised. People used to die left and right – I’m not being facetious, that’s what life used to be like. Rich men ran armies that were basically toy soldiers for them, diseases ransacked entire villages. Now, we can be outraged by death but no one really thinks about life.
How to inoculate against hatred? The only real way to end war is to end war. Violence begets violence. There is always someone looking for revenge. So, I am scared about the bandwagons that are being hopped upon in the wake of people’s deaths.
The people in those countries had families and homes. Some of them were in the middle of books, bleary-eyed in a concert hall waiting to get home to open a save file on a PS3, some probably there without permission from angry mothers, some probably angry mothers. I’d like to be able to do more than filter my Facebook photo with a French flag, but I don’t know what to do other than continue living on a world a few dozen people lighter.
So I spent my day living with my son and keeping the smile on his face. In the face of tragedy, happiness is the only thing that seems to work. I watched my son watch Star Wars and that made me happy. Not everyone gets to do that.