"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive."
-- Dalai Lama
This morning, while listening to the TTBOOK podcast from last week on Travel, I learned about Playing For Change. It's a really amazing project where musicians from around the world play songs together for peace. The message is: we are all humans. So I pulled up the videos on YouTube for the kids to watch with me.
The girls wandered off after we'd seen them all. Robotson asked me if there were any new posts at The Big Picture. The latest was this set from Israel, Tanzania, and Malaysia. I worry sometimes about introducing the issues from this blog. There is both a positive and a negative to how these photos make it all so real. As we were talking about the bride from Israel, I tried to explain about the war over Golan Heights. He asked why they can't just split the area in half and stop fighting? I tried to explain the history of the area, but it's really too much for him to understand. Even harder for him was the story about albinos in Tanzania being murdered for luck potions. We talked about how much better both of these situations would be if everyone involved just understood that we are all humans.
I was able to tie the message into something a little closer to home after our play group today. We pulled into the neighborhood and the boys down the street, that had previously given Robotson a hard time, were out on their bikes. They saw the van and began to ride down toward our house as we pulled into the driveway. They didn't say anything, but sneered (yes, really) and slowly circled in the street. I never would have imagined they would do such a thing when an adult was present. Robotson was pretty upset, so I decided to drive a little more, and we could talk about it. In my head, I was a little shocked by the boys' boldness. With Robotson, I put the focus on our shared humanity, and asked him to try to remember that they are people just like us. They love, and hurt; just like us. We shouldn't throw out our principles just because there seem to be some differences. When we got back home, the boys were gone and Robotson went in the house. I was getting the girls out of the van when they rode down again, slowly circled, and rode away again.