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  • you are almost 8 months old now, and it seems the world is on the cusp of another war ...

    there are always wars ... or there have always been wars ... and maybe they are always the same questions through the ages. one side says "we are right!" the other side says "no, WE are right!" one usually has greater force than the other and both sides inevitably injure and kill other people's sons and daughters.

    I imagine you, my son, having a "right/wrong" argument with a friend, and I know that as your parent it is my duty to step in and mediate. to teach you about perspective and compassion, and to make both sides really listen to each other and understand each other's motives.

    what is the question you are both trying to answer? do you see that this provides you with a common cause? for example you both strive to know what a t-rex eats for dinner, or whose god is the real God.

    why does it seem so simple to teach you about right action, and empathy and so difficult to understand how to take a stand on Syria?

    if I am emphatically anti-war (as I have historically been) then I am ignoring the implications of a government attacking its own people (think Rwanda, Germany). my anti-war statement becomes a "leave them to die & kill each other" statement, and I can't have that be your lesson.

    but if I raise a call to arms, then I am ignoring the fact that this tangles our own soldiers (sons and daughters) in another foreign battle, uses valuable resources at a time when poverty is rising exponentially while social supports disappear, and forces our country to back an unknown ally (think Afghanistan fighting the Soviets).

    how does it become this complex? how do I become paralyzed by not knowing what is the right thing to do?

    the paralysis is read as complacency and inaction. I can figure out how to order a new pair of shoes. I can troubleshoot a malfunctioning food processor. but I can't figure out how to align my moral compass on this.

    as you fall asleep at my breast at bedtime, I stroke the fine blond fur across your forehead leading to your dramatic hairline, and I know I have to learn to live in the ambiguity and not be paralyzed by it.

    I have to show you that a person can not-know-what's-right and still engage in the conversation ... letting curiosity and compassion guide you and acting yourself as a conduit for change. I have to show you how to resist dualism, and demonstrate empathy as a brave and bold tool for transformation.
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