I fear we have initiated a full-scale adult version of the “pay-back” game. As children, we played this game but with less significant consequences. Today, this simple game works exactly the way it did in my long-ago childhood.
Someone plays the tough guy and initiates the game by pushing someone else.
Not wanting to look foolish or weak, the other player pushes back.
And so the game escalates until both principles feel too tired and damaged to care anymore or until an adult calls off the entire event.
As everyone knows, Qassem Soleimani and several other men from Iran were assassinated by our nation this week. Even though Soleimani did terrible things, I wonder what happens next? It seems likely that Iran, at an unknown time and location will retaliate. Naturally, we will be forced to rise to the challenge, which will probably cause countless young adults to be killed or maimed. Unless some wise adult intervenes, we may continue pushing and shoving back and forth until we reach the question of using nuclear arms. And then what?
Do we have any adults around to handle this conflict? Any calm and sensible minds? It would be folly to think I have any solutions to offer. Am I also totally naïve to suggest that we turn to an Unknowable and Unspeakable presence we call God?
We came here for better things than constant war. We came here to express the joy that occurs when we work hard to give our best to life. This effort will look different for each one of us. Whatever each person feels called to think or to do, I hope each of us remembers to have some fun along the way. This, then, seems to be the reason we came; to struggle in our small ways toward peace and to do so with laughter and love for all mankind. No exemptions. I know my thoughts and actions provide no meaning to the situation in Iran. On the other hand, when all of us decide to forgive and love, maybe we can make a difference.
Jim Rigby, Sunday, December 29, 2010