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Every Day Acts of Peace

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Los Angeles, Beslan North Ossetia 2004: Children Teach Us Humanity

Torrential clairvoyant images 
of fearful faces 
and voices fallen silent,
then suddenly, 
angry faces 
and voices growing louder.
I hear,
“We are here!”

The children’s voices cry out 
before the bomb goes off.
They were here in this world,
they were her praying to be found.
Now they are not here 
they seem lost to this world –
but what is found in the heart 
is never lost.

Children are created by our hearts, 
are born, grow and live by the heart –
a simple organ that can 
so tenderly explode with frailty.

This is not the first time 
a family of children has been lost,
nor is it the first time 
a town of children have died.

Does it really matter anymore 
whose bomb it was –
who made it, 
who sold it, 
who transported,
who exploded it?
and Why? 
Why questions do matter.

What does matter always 
is that this behavior, these decisions, 
were justified by excuses;
and we support these acts 
when we do nothing 
to stop the excesses.

Many people have lost their innocence.
Killers once were babies innocent until violated.
We ripped their innocence from their flesh and blood.
We tore their consciousness from their skull and bones.
We filled their organs up with hatred 
until all they could see was pain.
Until all they could create, was pain -
all they had ever been taught to share, was pain.

We live in powerful times.
We embody powerful feelings, 
thoughts, actions and words.
We are expanding our mindfulness 
of what we create and teach our children -
so that hatred and pain are not generational, 
not passed down to keep us down.

Compassion rebuilds fractured legs 
so that they can continue walking the path.
Compassion renews shattered arms 
so they can embrace the journey.
Compassion restores love into any broken heart.

Forgiveness regenerates the whole, 
and unifies the divided, 
so peace is created within.
Gratitude reminds us of our humanity, 
the greatest gift we exemplify to our children.

In this world our children have become our teachers.
No matter what children experience around them, 
they never lose their humanity.
Children pray until the end, 
they never lose their faith in possibility.
Children’s bodies do not lie 
when laid to rest burnt and tattered,
wrapped and buried in war torn truths, 
the remnants of our humankind's humankindness.

Children exemplify and so teach us 
that our humanity is a rich tapestry of humility.

Children teach us about our own humanity.
Children teach us humanity.

~~ Other People's Fingerprints ~~
In Ireland, in 1976, Betty Williams said,
“We are deeply, passionately dedicated to the cause of non-violence,
to the force of truth and love, to soul-force…”