I do not understand people who blow themselves up to kill innocent families, tourists and bystanders in the belief that their action will transform them into martyrs. The willingness to give up one’s life for either a personal or collective cause indicates that they have reached the depths of despair — that life is meaningless, and that any hope on earth to meet their expectations is dashed.
It is said that, without a modicum of historical knowledge, we cannot begin to understand the crossroads people reach to choose between life and death. The history that is available to us, however, is not entirely devoid of flaws or distortion. Rather, stories highlight winners and losers. In our own milieu, power, pride and prejudice, wealth and greed can very easily obstruct the clarity of our vision. The remnants of colonialism, dispossession, artificial construction of boundaries, the inter-tribal war, the fusion of organized religion with political agenda, the power vacuum — the list goes on in our effort to comprehend potential causes and outcomes. What kind of identity and sense of belonging have people embraced to reach the conclusion that terrorism is the only way out of human misery?
Unless we believe that terrorism merits eternal reward that leads to a better life — a life immortalized, I see nothing heroic about killing and being killed! Or, some might even go further to courting total annihilation rather than endure a life that they claim is not of one’s own choosing.
Choice. Our gripe is that we experience a life of misery outside our own choice. Often we blame God for the destruction that humanity inflicts upon itself. We argue that God created our imperfection, therefore, God, the Creator is accountable for our human frailty. We demand the privilege of choice and the exercise of our own will even though we have no capacity in bringing ourselves to life. We paint a picture of ourselves as ‘God’ awaiting rebirth through the drastic action of mass destruction so that we can start afresh or, in cyberspace parlance, to reboot our existence by hook or by crook. But we have resorted to an argument grounded on self-constructed assumptions. When we fall in love, do we not desire the feeling to be mutual or would we rather deprive the other of the willingness to choose us and to feel the same way as we do, that is, to have a choice that comes from the heart? We are given the option to choose. Or, have we prejudged our creation as a fatal flaw?
Somehow, we want to destroy the ground of our being rather than be its custodian. Do we not admire the natural beauty of nature, the wonders of the world, the infinitesimal majesty of the intricately colourful design of the flora and fauna around us and the diversity of the landscape of planet earth that we inhabit? We have been given paradise on earth, but in our arrogance, we choose instead to untangle ourselves from our interconnectedness and interdependence with nature.
Do we not admire the natural beauty of nature, the wonders of the world, the infinitesimal majesty of the intricately colourful design of the flora and fauna around us and the diversity of the landscape of planet earth that we inhabit?
In choosing separateness, we indulge in idolatry. We are imposing an alter superego — our own notion of God rather than be incorporated in the mystery that unfolds as we live our lives and choose our paths of discernment between right and wrong, justice and injustice, love and hatred.
One mystery is the shock at the idea of a God who allows his son to die on the cross, condemned by his own people. We assume that God’s death on the cross was predetermined by God rather than exacted by his own creatures. We choose not to see a forgiving God that washes clean our misdeeds, a God that has chosen to endure suffering human pain and even loss of life. Does not God’s experience of human vulnerability demonstrate the depth of God’s love for us, allowing us to choose, out of our own accord, to love God?
We have become despondent demanding perfection here and now and liberation from pain. The kind of Creator we would like to pay homage to is a Creator of humanity that does not know suffering. We prefer to see the shadow of our own imagining than embrace the light glow that is seeking our love.
At bottom, the question of worth arises: ‘to be or, not to be’.
Where have we gone wrong that we have chosen to destroy God’s creation, and each other? The Creator must be sad to see some of us choose to walk away from the amazing grace of cognition of self that we hardly deserve. Or, do we prefer the imagining of an unfeeling God? Or would we rather deny that there is such a thing as a Creator God?