Scrolling through the Face Book group messages this morning, I read a mom’s question soliciting child friendly resources to teach her youngster. I applaud this mother for her sensitivity to her child’s developmental needs. The public schools could sure use some more of this as they have been indoctrinating kindergarten children with inappropriate sex education for a generation now. Then the thought dawned on me, this is the war of the east against the west.
Until September 11, 2001, the United States managed to dodge the 20th century plus warfare on its continental soil. Both World War I and II were fought mostly in Europe. We shipped and flew our young men and women to the war fronts while families in Europe sent their children to less populated country side places for safe refuge while the war raged on. This was the environment that C.S. Lewis wrote the start of the Chronicles of Narnia in.
I have come to the conclusion in generalized thinking (please note that there are a million exceptions) that we in the west are looked upon by our human family members who stayed behind in the various countries of Europe and Asia as the idealized immature siblings who are always chasing fantasies. What I mean is we or which ever relative in the past who came to the United States believed they could make a better life for themselves here. Whether it was the Pilgrims seeking religious freedom, the Irish looking for work, or the families of politically ousted, all are believing that freedom and a better future lies in the United States. This general view of immigration is what built America. This was mostly true, although those pushing a certain idealized current agenda will argue it is not. To which I would reply corruption over the years has slowly eroded the reality that if one was willing to work hard enough, they could create a great life in the U.S.A.
Along with this immature idealization in the west is a belief that we can avoid pain and hardship if only we purchase a certain product, subscribe to a particular service, or vote for a candidate who promises that which they canNOT deliver. Parents, grandparents and especially some romantic mothers are seduced into believing that their precious bundle of joy will be the next great whatever without discipline, hard work, and tears.
Those in the East especially in war torn areas like Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan see horrible sites on a regular basis. Terror reigns and rules their communities monthly, weekly, and sometimes daily.
Marrying someone from another country taught me a lot during ten years of marriage. The first was a different and better understanding of one of the petitions in the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Somehow Christians in the west have failed to understand what daily means. They have been led to trust more in doctors, government or corporate jobs, insurance, and retirement packages for security. None of these except doctors existed at the time of the great Jewish Rabbi’s teaching of this prayer. In fact, those doctors were also usually the high priests. It would not be for many more years when the separation of leadership into healthcare, education, politics, and religion would take place.
The “Christian West” no longer is. The trust in human made institutions through educational indoctrination and failure to walk the talk has finally displaced the original plan of the founding fathers. (If you disagree with my last claim in the previous sentence I encourage you to read the wall builders resources below.) But allow me to return to the mom looking out for her child’s emotional needs and ability to handle the history about what happen twenty years ago on September 11th.
How we handle our own emotional reaction to horrific news teaches our children more than any book, resource, or counselor. Examples are the best teacher. And what I am about to say may not be what you were expecting. Your initial reaction is not necessarily good or bad, it just is. This is the first step in handling tragedy. We need to stop judging our natural human response and those of others. We need to learn that each may react a little differently. Now when one gives way to panic, that may endanger themselves and others, but it is not necessarily wrong. You can read more about this listed below in my blog regarding a boating accident that my daughter, several others, and myself survived that sent us all into the freezing cold White River of Arkansas.
Instead of adding to the myriad of false emotional expectations by reading another how to book or blog, what I believe is needed is a greater respect and understanding of G_d, self, and others. Since the self-help genre is loaded with the latter, hence the name I will start with it.
Each responds to tragedy differently especially initially. Consider that one person runs out of a fire while another runs into help. This is why I wrote about taking turns processing the pain and inconveniences posed to all early on in 2020. What we need to do is learn how to listen to our own emotions and to the emotions of others. Listen don’t react. Then as you learn about how your response may have negatively impacted others especially your children, talk about it when you are calm. Admit that you may have been reacting in fear of what humans can do to you more so than what G_d can. Jesus taught that we should instead fear G_d instead of humans in Matthew 10:28 referenced below.
The book of Psalms if full of writers who works through their reality that fears and anger regarding injustice overwhelm at first. This is the normal reaction! It is through reflective time in prayer through faith in who G_d is, the great I AM that they process their fear and or grief that enables them to conclude with praise and hope. Psalm 77 is one of the most well known for this. So take time to listen to, reflect upon, and process your own emotions then do so for your friends, family, and especially your children.
#NeverForget #911anniversary #traumaresponse