Children are sometimes our best teachers. I’m sure you’ve noticed that when the window has been broken how quickly some children want to find out who did it, to point the finger of blame; to see the culprits squirm and get a really good punishment. Some adults can be like this too. They want those responsible hunted down. (If they have done wrong in the eyes of the law they should be apprehended.) Revenge prompts them to want those responsible to feel the full weight of the law. I do wonder sometimes if these folk would be happier if we went back to an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
Children have a much keener sense of justice and mercy. If they get the chance to discuss the problem and see the other person’s point of view they are usually happy with a hand shake, a heartfelt sorry and for things to be made right.
In the aftermath of last week’s disaster involving Malaysian Plane MH17 it is worrying to see people already trying to apportion blame. Some, even in the streets of Yarram, are saying, “It was deliberate!” I’ve noticed that sometimes finding out whom to blame leads, rather quickly, to revenge.
This disaster is absolutely terrible, tragic and sad that 283 people have died. We should feel the depth of sorrow that this disaster elicits but perhaps we should be careful about finding someone to blame.
As a Christian I am a pacifist. That is not to say I do not believe in war. It does mean that I choose peace first. It means that I choose to love my neighbour as myself and seek justice not revenge. Children are often our best teachers but we also are their role models. As the days unfold following the disaster of MH17 let us be the ones to show mercy, let us not be quick to blame the terrorists or Malaysian Airlines or Russia or air-traffic controllers or even God. Instead let’s express our sorrow and our sympathy showing kindness and understanding to all those who mourn without the need for revenge.