Scars from the Past

There are moments as I travel that stick in my mind. Forever. They come out of nowhere, hit with an impact, and aren’t going anywhere. I had one of those moments as I rode through the city of Beirut the first time. The moment I realized what I was seeing every so often wasn’t building dilapidation from age. It wasn’t a squirrel aggressively pummeling acorns into walls with a velocity that would chip concrete. Every so often, I saw a building with the wounds from civil war, scorched from mortar fire and rounds of ammunition.

beirut

The scars of the past

It’s a sobering sight. It’s a daily reminder of what can happen when open minded discussion is no longer an option. A wake up call for how slippery that slope can be that leads from angry discussion and agendas into something truly tragic. Some of these buildings have been left here on purpose for that reason alone. A constant and daily reminder of why we need to find common ground, eat together, play together, accept each other warts and all. I have to wonder, with all the anger and hate speech directed across party lines in my own country right now…the people who have voiced nothing short of disgust and hostility at those with differing views…the complete and total shut down of dialogue…the inability to see the grey in issues, whatever they are. I have to wonder, how far down that slippery slope have we slid so far? How much further will we go before we stop ourselves? It seems extreme, outlandish and ludicrous to think we could plunge into something that would create these sober reminders in our own country. But what were the people of Lebanon thinking at the time they started down the slippery slope so many years ago. If the people of Syria realized the resulting mass destruction of their country, would they have stopped themselves? Or the people of Iraq? Or Cambodia? Or Serbia? Or Sudan? Maybe they would have, maybe they wouldn’t. We’ll never know for sure. But I see these daily reminders of what can happen when two sides stop talking and it gives me pause. I walk by and take a moment to wish for dialogue and understanding. At a time where there’s so much anger and silence, it feels like a pretty big wish.

 

~ by silkrdlady on March 4, 2018.

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