I took my kids to Walmart the other day. As we walked back and forth along the aisles I observed a new behavior not seen out of my children before. It sent chills down my spine. My daughters were insisting on putting things back where they belonged on the shelves. This amazed me, especially coming from the redhead who NEVER wants to pick up. After about the fifth time of ‘Daddy, can we put X back’ I had to ask if they were feeling okay.
My oldest responded, “Why did you ask that?”
I told her that they didn’t want to pick up at home, so why start in a place where the people were actually paid to do so. We then discussed what was different about being at Walmart and being at home. Since my oldest is still only eight I did not get constructive answers from them. It did make me wonder what I could do to help foster this behavior. I came up with the most obvious choice, one that will be painful to transition to, but should solve the whole pick up problem. I am officially requesting that Walmart open a small location here in my house. It doesn’t have to be staffed since my kids will help stock the shelves. I know, you are thinking how brilliant this parenting spin is, and I can only agree. Next on my list, getting them doing lawn work by opening a small “flower shop”. I just hope Walmart doesn’t mind the competition on its front doorstep.
Is humanity inherently evil? That is a loaded question for sure, but something I thought about today when I saw a blog post about the 100 day anniversary of the abduction of the school girls from Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria. Their cause has been blunted by the news cycle and the attention span of a public that sees a new tragedy daily. I shudder to think of what these girls have gone through, and still face, and it leaves me wanting to either scream or take all my girls up in a big hug then lock them in a room. Why do we do things like this to each other? Why can’t we respect individual differences, may they be in race, religion, sex, or ideals?
That is one of the problems of course. The people who abducted those girls do not see themselves as monsters. They have a way of justifying what they have done. I will not speculate motive, other than the obvious of wanting the girls under their control, but whatever the motivation they see at as doing “right” on some level. Because of this, why do I have the right to condemn them for following their differences in ideals? The answer I hope is obvious. They are imposing their ideals in such a way that it takes away other’s rights to the same.
This is especially true when it comes to kids. These girls have done nothing wrong. They wanted an education and a chance to make something of their journey through this world. They ended up being easy targets. We as a world community are accessories to the crime. We will send troops in for regime change and to restore governments, but why not for restoring humanity? The group holding the girls have a “justification”, but do we for our lack or response? Maybe there are teams on the ground that I do not know about, looking for the girls. Maybe one day soon we will find out about the heroes that went quietly about their job while the world cried out why nothing more is being done. I can only pray for that.
Going back to my original question, are we inherently evil? I would like to answer we are not. I would like to say that the evilness is just seeing the world through distorted lenses, and that maybe the “bad people” can wake up one day and find their humane compassion restored. Days like today, though, I find it hard. Instead of doing something about the missing girls, we will to them slowly decay into history. The additional tragedy of this situation is that I am sure that if we had used ten percent of the intelligence used to stomp out terrorism on this problem, we could have accomplished something meaningful, like the restoration of the young ladies’ freedom. That would have struck a blow against evil and showed our true humanity.