Having compassion for our inner terrorist

Jan 1 2006….I’m talking to my sister about how her weekend was, she and her hubby and two daughters went down to Albq for the weekend, stayed in the Embassy Suites and had a good time…but last night, New Years Eve, “these young (white) kids were trashing the place. What’s the deal with kids these days,  screaming until 3 in the morning, throwing toilet paper rolls into the indoor planting, into the swimming pool, making a big mess for the staff, mostly Hispanic and Native American kids, to clean up the next day (this morning)…I felt so bad, what is with these kids….we never did those kind of things….”

In response I found myself sharing the conversation I’d had last night, at a New Years Eve party.  At this gathering, I struck up a conversation with a guy who’s a “teacher of teachers”, a guy who consults on the brain’s development and the corresponding age-appropriate ways to teach kids (K- Graduate work). At one point he was sharing about watching a 2 ½ year old boy and his dad, a Bali stone carver… “the boy was using tools the same size as his Dad, and had the dexterity of a 12 year old”.  I shared I’ve read about kids in Reggio Emilia, in Italy, and how the towns’ people consider kids as these gifted artists from the get go, and they’re art is incredibly beautiful and “sophisticated” at 5 to 7 years old…

I found myself sharing all this with my sister, in response to her story of kids trashing the place…how we stuff ourselves into these little boxes where we are honored for about 5% of our magnificence, how then out of this great disrespect of who we are, this angry disrespectful behavior squirts out…

And then I saw this image of how we, Americans, have this lifestyle that is destroying the planet.  Trashing one’s hotel room is one thing; you and I are trashing the planet. We’re these junkies shooting up petrochemicals into our bloodstreams (I saw Syriana recently), on a collision course to waste 1/3 to 1/2 the world’s species in the next 50-100 years, our own extinction in 300 years. Those kids throwing toilet paper into the pool are light weights. We’re mass killers.

We hung up, my sister spinning from her brother’s rants.   I was amazed to find me saying these things… “Innocents bent on a suicide, a genocide of the human race that makes Hitler look like Pollyanna. Our lifestyle is the terrorist.  Those suicide bombers are amateurs.”

These are incredible times. I can be the innocent, compassionate for where we find ourselves, praying we gather up the courage and the wisdom to make the  changes necessary. For me, it’s evolving our car-dependent, overly-consumptive lifestyle into sustainable “Mixed-use, Mixed-income Neighborhoods with Lifelong Learning Centers and Open Space…..Everywhere!!” and we’ll get there by tapping into the amazing ingenuity, creativity, and compassion of who we are.

Together we can make sustainable real!

Image courtesy of globalMama.com



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