When Will We Ever Learn

When Will We Ever Learn[1]

Regardless of the causes or the consequences, the thousands upon thousands of human tragedies on that terrible day a decade ago are profoundly meaningful to me on several levels, kind of like the perspectives we sometimes arrive at concerning our role in the universe, so infinitely insignificant while at the same time so infinitely important.

Horrible human tragedies take place every day and to the participants they’re as bad and as evocative as they can possibly be, yet in context, one is no more terrible than another.  They are all pungent with meaning, whether those we commemorate today or those that have taken place during the incessant massacres visited on mankind by our fellow men before and since September 11, 2001.

Nobility, tenderness, fear, courage, love, hate, despair, agony, all melded, not once but constantly, every day.

We pick those special occasions we memorialize and infuse them with meaning, but distorted meaning, out of context and thus, we never seem to learn.  We celebrate religious festivals dedicated to the memory of the slaughter of innocents, too frequently not to mourn them, but rather, to revel in their slaughter.  That seems especially notable to me today with reference to Abrahamic religions and their festivals shared in common, those based on old testament victories over people whose principle sin was that they lived on land another people coveted.

Things have not changed much, at least not yet, but if we engage in meaningful, honest and compassionate introspection rather than focus on revenge, power and supremacy over our fellows, perhaps we can start to change the world the way so many of us during the sixties were sure we could.  Back when we were matching with banners ablaze to the words of Bob Dylan and John Lennon.

When will we ever learn; when will we ever, … learn —

[1] © Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, September 11, 2011; all rights reserved