While standing on a platform pretending to be a wall (I play the Mute in the local theater production of “The Fantasticks”), I had approximately 23 pages of script during which I was free to ponder the mysteries of the universe (as one does when mimicking a wall).
It appears to me that, historically, conflict is born of three things: acquisitiveness, ignorance or love. The first and second are fairly understandable given the severe limitations of the human psyche/character but the third… now there’s a real head-scratcher. From duals or battles for the kingdom to soul-crushing laws and violence, love has caused mankind to commit all manner of physical, moral and legal atrocities.
A young couple finds love (a rare and precious commodity in this world) and yet they are subjected to the hatred of “the mob” because one happens to have skin of a different hue than the other. An elderly man and woman grasp at a last chance at joy and their families protest for the man is of one faith while the woman adheres to another. Two men (or women) commit their lives to one another and yet incur social censure because they share the same physical characteristics.
Time for a biblical quote: “If anyone says, I love God, but hates the brothers or sisters, he is a liar… Whoever loves God must also love the brothers and sisters.” (I John 3:20, 21)
And then my mind wandered on to the many major and minor wounds that we inflict by placing love in a small, confined box and slapping labels on it:
- A child is adopted and, throughout the years, his/her mother is subjected to the astoundingly ignorant question “Who’s the real mother?” (I submit that a “real” mother is the one who cherishes and leads a child through the joys and pains of life);
- A father cheers his son on during a soccer game, never seeing Down’s Syndrome but only the valiant heart of a small boy, and the woman beside him murmurs “This must be hard. I can’t tell you how much I admire you.”
- A daughter takes her ill and aging father to a restaurant and the waitress shouts “I really think you’re great to be so patient with your dad!”
- Someone hisses to a black groom and a white bride “But what about the children?”
- A same-sex couple want to adopt children (400,540 children are in foster care at this time in the US. 7,700 in Georgia alone) and yet petty laws prevent a child from finding a worthy home.
And so it goes. I have spent a (far too introspective, perhaps) lifetime wondering when humans will wake up – and I must say that I’ve seen no discernable signs of consciousness. While we concoct more and more reasons to despise and denigrate one another, we ignore the Big Bad Nasties of environmental planetary depletion, economic collapse, social chaos, failing educational systems, the physical decline of our populace, gross inhumanity and so forth.
I suggest that we consider removing love from the confining, locked and labeled box into which we’ve placed it.
Such are the thoughts of a Wall..
Photo: NASA Earth Observatory” width=”300″ height=”300″ />