Yesterday, I had an irreverent moment.
When I 'should' have been somber, I found myself suppressing a giggle. I blamed my cat who was staring up at me, imploring me to explain why every adult in the room had suddenly gotten up and stood silent (we're not a typically quiet bunch:)
To global readers unfamiliar with this practice:
The service of Remembrance (of fallen soldiers) in many Commonwealth countries, including my own, Canada, generally includes the sounding of the "Last Post" (a bugle call), followed by a period of silence.
Now, since I'm also an irreverent analyzer of all things human, I began to analyze this ritual.
(may as well add that I grew up in a catholic household - thus am very familiar with the whole ritual thing).
Herein lies the problem:
When I was growing up and throwing tantrums every Sunday because I didn't want to go to church, there was more to it than being a brat. I also usually lost those particular battles. And so, off to church we'd go.
Once there, with a clarity that seems reserved for children and those lucky adults who have nurtured that child-like quality, I'd watch certain individuals, dressed in their finest feathers and making grand entrances in the cathedral-like church in my hometown. Looking at them, one might surmise they had a direct path to heaven, paved in gold.
Later still, I'd observe these same individuals outside the church walls (and learned the meaning of the word incongruence).
If these same individuals really believed that God was all-seeing and that He could see how they treated and judged their neighbours, I totally didn't get why they weren't exuding the same crippling self-doubt I felt growing in my own spirit.
J.F.K (also raised catholic) once said:
"When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations."
Maybe that explains the path that led me to writing.
Despite my struggles to annihilate them, I've always been painfully aware of my limitations, and of humanity's limitations. Hypocrisy is one of those limitations that makes my volcano rumble.
As a child, I railed against the machinery of hypocrisy. I still do (albeit a tad less laced with vociferous scorn).
I'm all for the ritual that honours, respects and commemorates fallen soldiers and veterans, HOWEVER, I'd like to see humanity actually honour, respect and commemorate the change our children deserve so that they won't have to grow up and repeat the same cycle.
One of the fatal errors in teaching history is failing to connect it to the present and future.
If we all really meant it yesterday:
We should rest our guns, raise our hearts and construct change - meaningful change that addresses today's world.
To construct peaceful change, we need to listen to the stories of children.
This poignant speech by Lana Wachowskion (Matrix Trilogy) is one such story.
My 10 favourite quotes from her speech.