“If we are to reach real peace in this world… we shall have to begin with children.” — Mahatma Gandhi
Adults have the unsupported belief that they alone rule the world and only they have the ability to know what the rule of law should be and how to negotiate everyone’s life. Retaining this belief virtually eliminates consideration of the existence of the gifts and abilities of the young who have not been swayed to align their thinking with those of an older generation raised in different, less mercurial times.
As times change, our thinking may not change with it and we cling to ideas that no longer fit into this new, technological culture in which we find ourselves. Then, too, there are those who would selfishly and, often savagely, refuse to relinquish the power and the perks that come with age. The very nexus of this “power and perks mentality” is to devalue the young and, along with that, their lives and future contributions to all of us.
At this time of the year, the MarchForOurLives aligns well with our religious observances, i.e., Passover and Easter. When Freud wrote “Moses and Monotheism” he offered an hypothesis for why the Jews wandered in the desert for 40 years.
No, they were not waiting to earn their way into the Promised Land but, in Freud’s thinking, they were waiting for the older, those wrought in the slave-mentality, in the group to die. Death, in his mind, provided a cleansing of the group to enable it to survive with a different outlook on themselves and their future lives. The young were the fruits of this laborious journey.
So, it seems that this year on March 24, 2018 with over 800 marches all over the world, we are, once again, looking toward the future with the eyes of our youth. Dismiss them, if you choose, but they will not be denied their right to protest, to speak up and to think independently.
Christians know that Jesus, too, exhibited his view of children and their promise when he is quoted as saying,”Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Today, it would seem that this worldly kingdom belongs to them also. Disputing the Bible is not my intention but, whoever wrote this quote, surely understood the ability of the young to lead the rest of us. The voices of the young cannot be denied if we wish to survive.
The results of the marches and all the marches and actions to come are not known now. In the 60s, college students swarmed into the streets, the colleges and administrative buildings to protest the Vietnam War, a war we now know was all about power, money and lies. Today, the marches are virtually about the same three things and we will live with the consequences. Change cannot be denied. Youth will have its due.