I asked my FaceBook friends to make the effort and read my blog regarding the killings of men, women, and recently, boys and girls, throughout Africa. It took an old high school friend to lift me out of my bewildered state of mind, a point at which I was ready to give up, to enlighten me over the fact that asking why isn’t really worth reading, that providing strategies for stopping the violence would be much more interesting and empowering to read…..and I had to agree. So, here goes…..I’m going to employ my Masters in Social Research from Strathclyde University, an education that I’d almost shelved recently, and I’m going to offer my best educated guess for possible actions.
First things first, it’s going to take small and large non-governmental organizations, privately funded foundations, and government-sponsored tax-payer supported organizations such as United States Aid for International Development (USAID), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Department for International Development in the United Kingdom (DFID), and several other international organizations up to the United Nations to get on the same page and develop mission statements together, and then act in-unison on that mission. It will require churches within the Christian faith, synagogues within the Jewish faith, mosques within the Sunni and Shia Muslim faiths, Hindu and Buddhist temples worldwide, and the outside the faiths thinkers such as the new-age population, agnostics, atheists, etc. all putting their heads together to find a common ground, not to focus on what divides each. And, here’s a big news flash, it starts with each of us, putting aside our opinions, biases, pre-conceived notions about others, to take that first step towards a world filled with cooperative interactions across cultural divides. It takes you and me reaching out to that neighbor who’s so diversely different from ourselves. Make it your mission to embrace those who share a completely different opinion than your own, and be ready for them to challenge, and possibly change the way that you’ve thought your entire life. I’ve done it, and it feels really good to be able to allow another’s life experiences and beliefs to enter into your mind for review. After you chew on their thoughts for a while, you still might come out disagreeing, but you should be able to develop a better understanding of why that individual thinks the way they that do – a different set of life experiences from your own. With that kind of understanding, we should all be able to reach deeper within ourselves to work with people of different organizations, countries, faiths and viewpoints for the true power of good for all of our families worldwide. Start making a difference right within your own mind, your own family, your own neighborhood, your own country, and then in your own world. Be part of a solution, not part of the problem.