To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we chose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places, and there are many, where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. ( Howard Zinn)
War City. Our oh so simple community centre. But a place where hope and magnificent behavior go hand in hand.
Years ago, ( that sounds so ancient and maybe it is ) I was invited to no few forums to discuss issues of peace, tolerance, co-existance. My response was always the same. Nothing to discuss. It needs to be lived. And living it with a gentle magnificence we are.
There's this quote which reads like a little ditty: Listen to the mustn'ts child. Listen to the dont's. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the wont's. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me. Anything can happen child. Anything can be. ( Shel Silverstein )
They said, Israeli and Syrian can't make it. They said Israeli and Muslim from Syria won't do it. They said Yezidi from Shingal and Muslim from Mosul is a don't even think of it. Actually we didn't think of it, which is probably why it's happening with such a quiet magnificence under our nose. The impossible, living the other side of history in the most humble of places. Magnificence in War City. The place where anything can happen and is happening.
The place where anything can be. The place where Yezidi kisses the head of the Syrian kids when they go home. The place where the Syrian serves tea to the Israeli. The place where the Muslim from Mosul asks to come early in order the wash the playground down so that it will be a little cooler. And because anything is being, and because it is happening with an magnificence unseen to the untrained eye, our kids, our Syrian refugees are learning the other side of history.
And as we said, the other side of history which is the antidote to the cruelty that they have known, is a side of compassion, kindness, serving one another, its a beautiful side of history. A side with an intricate magic of its own, that dare not be touched.
In the midst of rampant evil the young Anne Frank got it. " I don't think of all the misery" she wrote " but of the beauty that still remains. " She got it.
Anwar, a tenderhearted Muslim forced to escape from Mosul with Bianca our young Yezidi who fled Syria to Turkey and fled again to Kurdistan. They speak the language of love. The language that heals. Two opposites who are so alike as they live out the other side of history.
Hope in War. Where hearts that live the other side of history are magical magnets for magnificent behavior which in turn, determines lives and futures. Hope in War.