Thursday, February 23, 2012

Syrian Government Killing Civilians

Being an artist and writer has for me meant a lot of solitude. Some times, most of the time, I'm okay with it. Some times I'm not. I've been feeling blue for a while and figured that was the reason. Not enough getting out. I've been on the brink of finishing two canvases and my second book and have been blocked with rare few glimpses of productive creativity. And I hate that. I'm always afraid my brain will get stuck in neutral again and stay there.

I set out the soundtrack of Schindler's List to play but thought; maybe I shouldn't listen to such sad music. But I was truly compelled to listen. And some thing slowly unlocked and I began to paint. And I was aware of this feeling sorrow for the people who are being killed in Syria. And this has been on my mind since the news of their peaceful uprising began. Only it isn't so peaceful anymore.
And then I kept thinking about one thing and one thing only. What they are doing in Syria is wrong. The whole world is standing by and the civilians are being killed by the people that are supposed to represent them.

There are people who are risking their lives and loosing their lives trying to desperately get this story out to the world. And I thought, this is a holocaust and it is happening right now. And all of the leaders of nations are standing by with their hands in their pockets and doing nothing. And this is what has been laying heavily on my heart. This is so wrong.

And then I remembered when a couple of neighborhood kids were picking on each other a few years ago. I knew these children and was concerned about the bullying going on. I could see it was escalating. And then I thought, not on my watch. And so I told each of the children that I had talked with all of the neighbors. And we all have cameras. And we are going to take pictures of any more meanness they were doing to each other and then we are going to give these pictures to their parents. And a lot of us had cameras that took video also. So there would be no more, he did it first. Because they were all wrong to use violence and cruelty towards each other. They were neighbors and they needed to learn how to live together. And we were all going to help them make better decisions until they were old enough to understand that they needed to treat each other respectfully.

After a few days one of the children told me he felt bad and didn't want people watching him. And I explained, we are not watching you to catch you, we are all watching because we love you all and we want you to make good decisions. One day you will all be happy to be friends. One day when you grow up a little more. You don't have to like each other; you just need to treat each other with respect. Years later and that's exactly what they all do.

Well this is a big world. And we are all neighbors. And we are all aware of genocides and holocausts and terrible wars and guess what... none of these ways of trying to solve problems ever works. No, these actions only cause terrible pain. Territories, boundaries, walls, wars and intimidation may serve to cut up the world into even smaller pieces. But until people, individual people, understand that when we hurt someone we hurt everyone, we will continue to have these problems. We can discuss our thoughts and feelings without killing people over them. We can think differently and still respect each other.

Syria, we are watching you. And what you are doing to your own people; it is wrong. We are all watching and the damage you are doing to your own people is wrong. The scars your people will carry with them will never go away. They will stay with you and will be passed down from one generation to the next. So stop it. You don't have to like each other's points of view but you all need to treat each other with respect.

And, if the people don’t want you to lead or govern them anymore than it is time to go.

I tweeted for the first, February 23, 2012. This ache is all I can think about. All I have to say is this, “What you are doing in Syria is wrong.”

And this is what is happening today in Syria, February 24,2012.

And Russia and China, you are an amazing people. China, your wisdom and contributions to the world have been phenominal. Russia, you have shed so much of your own blood for the chance to be who you are, you should understand this better than anyone. Your collective history shows all of us that this kind of violence against your own people may get you control for a time; maybe even for decades but it doesn't last. It won't keep a nation together forever. People will always need to have a say in how they live. It never works when it is the other way around; the government making the decisions for the people as to how they want to live. Because governments can be corrupted by greed. In fact, governments always have an element of corruption because people who work for them can hide behind their bureaucracy. Because people like to be lazy and they like to get away with doing whatever they want to do in order to get what they want. And as long as people continue to live and think this way; there are going to be troubles. There are no short cuts to wisdom or integrity. There is only personal responsibility. But when we take this seriously and stop pointing fingers of blame at everyone else; the way we live will also have an affect on our families and the rest of the world. And with the issues we are facing now; this is even more true than ever.

We need to grasp the importance of cooperating with each other and nature; not only to survive but to appreciate the bounty of this world, which includes what we have to offer to each other and the planet too. We may have differing views on how we came to exist. We may have differing ideas about who to thank or how to demonstrate our gratitude. But all of this is a moot point if we keep on destroying each other and the planet we share. When are we going to stop squandering our natural resources and the good that is within us?

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