Your children are not your children,
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but are not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
As living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and
He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
So he loves also the bow that is stable.
On Children from "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran, 1923
Before we attempt our valiant counter-offensive against political oppression and authoritarianism in the Middle East we should start with some vital in-house cleaning. I have taken it upon myself since I started writing here to expose the evils of this time and place while concurrently shedding a feeble beam of light on our obscure delights and felicities. Today, I am in a fiendish mood and as thus am inclined to frivolously flirt with the devil rather than majestically dance with the angels.
So far and to a certain extent Syria might have been fortunate enough to have escaped scores of the prevailing social ills inflicting most countries in the world, like high violent crime rates for instance. However, like everybody else, we are moving in the wrong direction. Local Crime is on the rise mainly due to the obscene economic disparity bisecting our society and polarizing what was once a continuous spectrum into Haves and Have-nots. We are environmentally illiterate and our natural resources are being slaughtered in the stupid name of "modernization", industrialization and development. Our streets, cities and countryside are dirty and unkempt because we are not conditioned to give but rather to take. We might be hygienically conscious when it comes to our bodies (especially on Friday mornings) and immediate surroundings but could care less about the rest of the world. We are generous and kind but have little respect for individualism and personal freedom and as thus are loud and boisterous and have no perception of personal space at all. We cannot adequately differentiate between love and smothering and this is most apparent in the parent/children relationship. Parents more often than not stifle their children's ambitions and dreams and force them down the road of conformity and banality. We have created a monster out of religion and accepted its interference with our basic identity to the point where many of us see themselves as Muslims or Christians before being humans. These faults and so much more were not caused by the absence of democracy per say but rather because we have tyrannical traditions imposed on our collective psyche through centuries of religious submissiveness. We have given consent to our leaders (masters) to mount us like beasts of burden, use and abuse us because, among other bizarre facts, not a single monotheist religion advocated banishing slavery! Just think of this notion for a minute. God spoke to us three times (at least) in this part of the world. Three times… and he never told us that slavery is ungodly. Before we call for political reform we’d better get indoors, within the dank walls of our own homes and rummage around for rot, pests and rodents in our basements, in the core of our foundations.
While traditional societies had evaded the onslaught of globalization for a longer period than their modern counterparts their eventual fall was far more spectacular and disastrous. A traditional culture like ours, which had over time relied heavily on religious mores to regulate its acceptable behavioral patterns while neglecting proper social evolution, communal conscience and the development of a comprehensive set of civil laws and regulations, is finding itself all of a sudden disgustingly naked. It's like a pot-bellied middle-aged man stripping and exhibiting his albinal folds of hairy fat in a skimpy black Speedo on a beach full of tanned and athletically appealing young men and women. His other option would be to keep his clothes on and stroll the beach like a pervert. And this is exactly what most of my parenting generation is doing, watching the world goes by while avoiding embarrassment through hiding our defects, hereditary and self-inflicted. If we were only opting for this defeatist attitude toward the challenges of history without further dragging the younger generations with us our sins could have been somehow forgiven. But in an act of absolute selfishness and cowardice we are holding our children hostages and eventually prefer to bring them down with us on this doomed ship.
We will never rise as a people until we shed our bauble robes of jejuneness, piety and self-righteousness and incinerate them in the hell we so wholeheartedly believe in and fear. Let our children discover a world free of ecclesiastical neurosis and taboos. They should realize, with us not despite of us, that they are at liberty to break the walls of isolation and bigotry without feeling the slightest regret or remorse. They should push forward universal suffrage for women. I know for a fact that many women are on equal grounds with men in Syria but not all. In rural areas and in excessively traditional families women have to either fight for their rights and pay for them with their own blood or they have given up entirely and accepted their inferior status. Honor killings, despite their rarity in Syria, still take place. Even a single murder for the alleged honor of mentally impotent men is too many. Accordingly and to all the men out there who condone the killing of women, be they their sisters and daughters or total strangers, to wash away their shame and to preserve their honor: shove your honor, your virtue and your rectitude up your rectums you imbecilic morons.
I beg the new generations to let go of their parents’ delusions of grandeur and probity. We were never better than any other culture or civilization. We were never worse. We have to open our doors and minds east and west. If we cannot emerge winners or at least reach a draw then we never had anything worth keeping in the first place.
My Treasure: http://kinziblogs.wordpress.com/2009/03/23/call-to-act/