My Mother made a beautiful stitched picture that hangs on my wall. Every time I look at it, I think of her fingers carefully pulling the needle and thread. The message was important to her and it should be for all of us today.
History also is most important to us because it teaches us so much. We can look at what has happened in the past and in some ways project the future…unless we refuse to learn. Most present-day issues are sensitive and hard to discuss, but we must think about these things.
What kind of “fragile” times are we going through and what has history taught our last generations?
Let’s take a hard look at now and then.
- Everyone has become fearful of the possibility of becoming sick or dying from our recent virus.
- Governments have taken control world-wide more than we can remember in our modern history.
- Life and travel has completely changed.
- Tragedies have led people to respond with demonstrations as they let their concerns be known. This is the democratic way, according to our Constitution, and should be respected.
- More tragedies have occurred for business owners, of every race and creed, whose livelihood has been ruined by the breaking and looting, which should have never been connected with those wanting peaceful demonstrations. Some organizations have as their goal to bring down democracy and pit our citizens against one another.
(Let’s look at those in other parts of the world who are fighting to keep their democratic way of life.)
- People in Hong Kong are facing further governmental crack-downs from mainland China as Beijing proposes new legislation. ( “China stunned Hong Kong when it announced it would impose a national security law on the city. Many worry this could spell the end of Hong Kong’s unique freedoms…”) whole story on BBC News
Why even mention the present day problems? It is because these are only a few of the world’s problems that makes “Life Fragile” for all of us, in this country and around the world today.
What can we, the present generations, learn from history?
- The slave owners and slave ship captains were the ones responsible for the sins of the past…not people living today. By making slavery the sin of those living today only makes our society more fragile. Unfortunately, history cannot be relived, as much as we would like to correct the wrongs of the past. Looking at and condemning the actions of the past by individuals or governments is one thing…to place it on the shoulders of those not responsible is another.
We talk of the need for “being together and unified” and for everyone to work together to rid all injustices in society. Yes, the present and future are our responsibilities. To rectify present problems is an honorable goal that most would want to see accomplished, but talk is cheap if we continue to blame those who are not responsible for past injustices.
Mass blame only leads to disruption and a society sickness within groups of people, leadership, the media, and our communities in general.
( Let’s think also about German history.)
- The Nazi regime blamed an entire group of people. They were the builders of the death camps, designed to eliminate the Jews from their culture. I had the honor of taking young Americans to Auschwitz to remember this tragic time during World War II. It is an experience one never forgets. Even the Jews, themselves, could not believe that their businesses were being destroyed and that they would be rounded up to die, simply because they were a particular group of people. Society has a way, through the evils of leadership, to turn against one another. Interestingly enough, Hitler continued to use the expertise of his Jewish doctors and dentist. How could he not have known the value of the individual? Mass hysteria became the weapon of choice, as well as propaganda through the German media, leaflets, and posters against people as a whole.
The German youth today, or their parents, are not responsible. We will make life more fragile if we try to pin on innocent people what tragedies were espoused when they were either tiny children or not even born.
- Past generations of Native Americans had the horror of walking to their death on the Trail of Tears, which is a despicable part of our own history of governmental policies. The white, mostly of European descent, who rode their wagons through the tribal territory to settle the West were often murdered and scalped. No living Native American had anything to do with this tragedy.
- We must not forget the hundreds of Japanese Americans, who were placed by our government leaders during World War II in the U.S.Internment Camps because of being Japanese. The generations today of U.S. Government officials had no part in this.
- Because some policemen have acted in evil ways against defenseless people, ALL men and women wearing the badge can not be blamed or demonized for the acts of others… for many have dedicated their lives to helping safe-guard our communities. Without them, those who mean harm will be let loose on those who will see a greater need to protect themselves. In this case, those wishing for more gun control may find their proposals will fall on deaf ears.
Are we getting the picture?
Blaming ALL people for the actions of some only leads to an extremely fragile society. It leads to the persecution of the innocent and instability of our nation and the world today.
Our last question: Can destroying the representations of history remove it from memory?
Condoleezza Rice, former 66th Secretary of State, explained her view about destroying history to the Washington Examiner. She believes that the Confederate statues and associated names of schools and universities should be used as teaching tools. It is as a way to understand history even as we learn not to celebrate it.
This is why we, the Believers in Christ and of the dignity of all people who were created in the image of God, must not forget to pray. We must pray for each other, all mankind of every nationality and the government leaders around the world, who have the power to turn our world upside down.
We are a fragile world.
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela, former Pres. of South Africa
Video: Turn up sound
We want to know that what we are told by our elected government officials is the truth and nothing but the truth. However, the fact is that any transparency that we require from our government or any other government on earth is probably never going to happen. Those in power are more concerned about their reputations or their political careers than the welfare or opinion of the people they represent. In democratic societies, those who run for office know what the people want….and transparency is a promise that most will make but not keep. If this is what we expect, we are probably being naive or simply hopeful. I believe we can just forget that promised transparency will ever happen.
If we have a catastrophe of any kind, whether it is the result of something beyond our control (as natural disasters of floods, landslides, earth-quake etc.), and our man-made equipment or construction explodes or melts-down, we can be certain that we will not hear the truth…perhaps not even close to the truth…for public opinion is a powerful thing that most leaders do not want to confront.
Take as an example, the melt-down of the nuclear reactors in Japan after the great earthquake and tsunami hit that country, killing approximately 16,000 people; destroying 130,000 homes at a cost of 210 billion dollars. The fall-out from this disaster polluted the waters moving out from Japan toward the U.S.A and everyplace in between. The air-pollution also spread out over the globe. Food was contaminated. The people were not told soon enough about the terrible dangers.
Why was there not transparency from the Japanese government about the risks to those who survived and the continued leakage of radio-active elements from holding tanks? The culture of “saving face” may have had a great deal to do with it.
Below is a video explaining this serious problem, which continues until today. The Japanese are not the only ones with a transparency problem. We can be certain that many other things that have effected us and will effect us in the future is hidden away by those who would not give us the truth…until it is too late. Pessimistic? Yes…one would say so. Who then can we trust to act…or speak on our behalf…and the people world-wide? My mother did a wonderful needle point that she hung on her wall. It may sum up that question: ” LIFE IS FRAGILE, HANDLE WITH PRAYER”…as it may be our only option.
It is not easy to speak out and be heard in a completely clear and in a direct way, so all can understand.
This speech from the Parliament of England to the Prime Minister says it all. Thanks to those who are not caught up in political correctness or afraid of political careers who dare to speak the truth. Perhaps the U.S.A. can take some lessons.