I have forgotten a lot of things that I was taught in school. There were some concepts (algebra) that I never did fully grasp. However, there was one thing that I was taught that did make total sense to me, one thing that I took to heart and will always remember. When I was in Grade Two, our teacher read us the story of the north wind and the sun. I remember our teacher, Mrs. Clark (who was just the sweetest teacher ever). I remember the pictures in the book. I remember the story. I remember the lesson.
For anyone who never happened to hear the story, the north wind was bragging about how strong he was – that he was the strongest power in the universe. The sun respectfully disagreed. The two decided to have a contest to determine which of them was the stronger. They chose a man walking down the street. They decided whichever one of them could get the man’s coat off of him in the shortest amount of time, would be the winner. The north wind went first. He howled and blustered and directed his cold fierce power directly at the man. The man grasped his coat and wrapped himself in it. The harder the north wind blew, the tighter the man clung to the coat. Finally the north wind had blown himself out. He gave up and dared the sun to do his best. The sun smiled warmly onto the man. In no time at all, the man removed his coat making the sun the winner of their contest. I get that. It makes sense.
In the past few days, the news has been filled with more and ever more hate and violence. I do not get it. I do not understand anyone who is driven to hate and contempt and murder based solely on the color of one’s skin. I do not understand those who take to the streets in anger, determined to cause destruction and chaos and pain to guilty and innocent alike. I do not understand the cruelty or arrogance that drives one to walk into a street or classroom, mowing down countless innocent victims with weapons of mass destruction. I do not understand the fear and insecurity that drives people to resent and hate refugees fleeing war-torn countries to find peace and security for themselves and their families. I really do not understand movements like the ‘incels’ who slaughter women because they are ‘involuntarily celibate’. (Like that will drive women into their beds?)
I do not understand any of these destructive people or the mayhem they cause. I do not understand their motivation. Do they expect to win? If so, what the hell is the prize?