When Death is Real

A Very Dead End

It’s been the worst day of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 1967. The scenes from there look like something directly out of a horror movie. Bodies without parts, parts without bodies. Hundreds are dead, and more than 800 are wounded as of the latest count.

This isn’t fake blood, or plastic mannequins that we’re seeing on the screens in front of us. These are real men, women and children, with real families and real homes. Or at least they used to be.

The question is, how do these things happen? And what are we as parents and educators to do?

Here are two steps we can take to begin making some change in our world:

Step 1.  Stress the commonalities among human beings. Let’s teach our children to focus on ways we are the same instead of ways we are different. When we see what connects us all as humans it quickly becomes much more difficult to hurt one another or think of others as enemies. By rehumanizing people instead of dehumanizing them, we can stop seeing one another as ‘targets’ and start finding our brothers, sisters, friends.

Step 2.  Reduce the violence our children are exposed to on a regular basis. Our children watch TV, go to movies, or play video games where aggression is the main objective, and then we wonder why they don’t feel anything when real tragedies occur. As a society we’ve allowed them to become desensitized to brutality, and many have now gained a false image about how hostility really turns out.   Unfortunately for many there’s a very blurred line between fantasy and reality. The ‘good guys’ don’t actually ride off into the sunset with hardly a scratch on them, and there is no reset button to press to start the game all over again when your guy dies.

There are many reasons for why our world is the way it is today. Let’s decide right now that we’re going to teach our youth to live better among one another than our generation does now. Together we can do it.

By Sonia Dabboussi

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