Thursday, August 23, 2012

Children of War - Imagine the Shift to Peace

These colorful Harambee necklaces made by former child soldiers and war orphans caught my eye last night in the Gulch at Casablanca Coffee during the "Passport" event.  Proceeds from sales go to Exile International whose by-line is "'empowering children of war to become leaders of peace."

This morning I read that line again and thought of children in America.  Far from being forced or conscripted into war like children in the Congo or Uganda, American children are also children of war.  For a generation many of our children have been covertly scripted through violent video games and films to choose war and conflict as a reaction before dialogue and thought. 

As much as I love America there is much here covertly creating a people of war.  This Fall tv viewers are offered the opportunity to watch the glamorization of war hosted by by former General Wesley Clark as celebrities paired with military personnel are put through mock military training exercises in the controversial "Stars Earn Stripes." 

Closer to home I'm still dumbfounded over the sign I saw this summer an hour east of Nashville advertising a Machine Gun Shoot. Yes, a machine gun shoot.  Why would anyone go to a machine gun shoot unless they felt powerless or paranoid. 

Is this who we are - a people so easily controlled that some of us need to shoot machine guns to feel power or watch celebrities compete in military training in order to get personally pumped from the sofa or recliner?

The word Harambee is Swahili for 'come together.'  Time will tell whether we as individuals in this amazing country can ultimately move beyond fear and come together in a desire for understanding and community despite our differences.

Otherwise many tomorrows into the future, I imagine an African child inspired to form an organization for empowering American children so they may become leaders of peace here at home.

Imagine the Shift to Peace. 
-Dawn! The Good News Muse,  23 August 2012

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