So what can we do? We can say no and we can say yes.
Say No to a Culture That Embraces Violence and Hates Differencevideo games ) the ones that we often let our kids play) helped the Oslo bomber prepare his horrible plot? We are desensitizing ourselves to violence and death and helping others learn how to kill effectively when we allow such "games" in our homes.Violent video games in my home? Hell no.
I have a friend whose sons (all under the age of 6) play these with their father (as well as watch violent TV and cartoons) and all they want to do is play fight. They always polarize their toys (This is the bad guy- I am going to kill him!") and it makes me sad and frightened all at the same time. These kids also have nightmares inspired by what they see. I want something different for Rowan- and that is going to be hard, because I am swimming upstream, against the tide of a culture that sees violence as mainstream and OK.
I am also saying no to a segregated society- I want to have friends of all ages, races, religions and other cultural markers of difference. I want my son to grow up in that world, so I need to actively cultivate it. which brings me to saying yes:
Saying Yes to Diversity, Cooperation, and a Culture That Sustains LifeFaced with Inhumanity, We Must Be More Human. I concur. While we are afraid, we must continue to reach out to one another and build a new society in the decaying shell of the old. We must learn how to care for ourselves and others we include in our tribe (and we must build those tribes!) Hard work is ahead for all of us that value life and love.
We must go out of our way sometimes to meet people who think or live differently than ourselves. Making friendships that span that divide is even harder. But if we want a society that embraces diversity, then we must do it on a micro level first.
I am teaching my son about the myriad seemingly invisible (only because we take it for granted) ways the world cooperates for his benefit. I am teaching him cooperation and working and playing with others. I am modeling non-violent communication, non-capitalist ways of being, and how to create.
What are you doing to say no and yes to a better world?