I don’t know if the thought came to me in my sleep or from a news program that was on the television while I was attempting to fall asleep, but, it is vivid and alive, stuck in my head and if I don’t talk about it, I may as well go mad.
It is already several weeks past, yet this idea continues to reverberate through my mind… loud and clear. I don’t mean to use names, but in this case, I think I have to. Anyway, the fact that North Korea has nuclear missiles that are capable of destroying us, the United States, and pretty much the rest of the world, within minutes with the simple push of a brightly colored button, yet does not own a single airplane that would allow it to travel a mere six to eight hours to meet with a world leader is beyond my imagination. Doesn’t this sound peculiar to you as well or am I not understanding this correctly?
From every corner around the world, people, even from the poorest of nations, routinely take flights to visit family and friends, to relocate, to site see or to simply just “get away” for fun. We learn about the wonders of the world from geography maps in class and then we are free to hop on planes and ships to take us there. The choice to see the world is ours. Then it dawns on me, the people of North Korea don’t have a choice to see the world. They can’t just “get away” or relocate, so I suppose there is no need to spend any money on building an airplane to take them anywhere, right? And, their leader, (no names mentioned) has he no desire to see the sun set on a different horizon? What an absolute shame. Just a few decades back North Korea didn’t even have enough food to feed its people, and most to this day, except for the party favorites, live in utter poverty and repression. But, that’s another blog and I’m not meaning to be political, but totally practical.
I let my mind drift a little. Imagine if these people had the chance to join a group of other people in a distant location, watch the sun rise and set, marvel at a school of fish as they travel about in the ocean, or see an animal majestically stalk in the wild. Imagine the humanity that would immediately join these strangers in a moment of shared pleasure. It seems to me that this most certainly would transcend all the history, bigotry, hatred, half-truths and outright lies about each other.
I doubt that this will happen anytime soon (or even in my lifetime), but it reminds me that each time I meet someone from outside my little world there is an opportunity for me to not only share a bit of myself, but to also make a lasting human connection; the effect that will not only change me in some small (or maybe significant way) but will also provide an opportunity for a stranger to share in that moment.
Like most things in life, building up is always better than breaking down, unless it is walls that separate us from ourselves, our neighbors, those around the corner or around the world. Friends or enemies, humanity is within us all, waiting to be explored and uncovered.
So, while, certain things will never add up for me, I know this… We can defend our country and have our military battle ready and still reach out to make human connections. We can’t change North Korea from spending its money on nuclear weapons rather than food, art, education or humanity, but we, as individuals, should never pass up the chance to make a connection with those near and far. Each of us has within us the ability to be the building block to a better place. If the person across the aisle refuses to reach out to grab my hand, I can’t let it stop me from finding someone new to extend my hand to. We can easily be the agent for change; It is the only true tool we all have in equal measure.
I understand that we must not let our guard down because of the enemy. The forces in the world can’t always “teach the world to sing in perfect harmony” but having enemies doesn’t mean we have to lack humanity. Knowing we will always have a battle to fight, an enemy to closely watch and a world in turmoil, requires more humanity, not less. From strength comes the ability to understand and from understanding comes the realization that demons are real, they do exist; but in each of us, there exists the ability to make our own lives better and in turn, make someone else’s better too.
So, even in the face of destruction, agony and pain, we can’t allow that to deter us from being human, even to our enemies. Maybe it’s just a juvenile thought, but “wouldn’t it be nice to see the world for once all standing hand in hand and hear them echo through the hills for peace throughout the land?”