Sunday, May 16, 2010

Contemplating About Mankind

I used to be a tough girl. Nothing could really get to me (or at least I could hide it really, really well), but having my girls changed my in my very foundations. I've been thinking about the meaning of life, sustainability of natural resources, truly healthy nutrition (not the one that keeps you as skinny as possible), and a whole array of other things I did not care much about before. Having kids changed me more than I would have ever expected. Before giving birth to Lily I thought I'd want to return to work as soon as possible and work on my career; after my little angel was born, I hated going back to work, even though it was only part-time in the beginning. I am not completely happy with the type of mother I was the last two years, being gone working for most of the day (even though I am very thankful that Richard could stay home with Lily and she didn't need to go to daycare). I hope that this will change once we move to Germany, but it needs to be seen..

The other day I was sitting on the couch, holding little Violet in my arms and gazing in her wide-awake eyes. She was so aware of her surroundings, making faces and smiling every once in a while. I had to think about how lucky we are to be living in this day and time, and in an industrialized country. I felt lucky that I don't have to worry about my children not getting enough food, or about their general well-being. My thoughts started wandering, and I remembered a documentary I watched about the Third Reich a while back, on so-called "cleansing patrols". During those raids, soldiers, often SS troops rounded up whole villages, forced the people to bury deep ditches, before they were shot and burned in those wholes. This documentary mentioned on how the soldiers fared with little kids or babies, who were tossed in the flames and burned alive. Looking at my baby I cannot imagine how any living being could ever do such a horrific act. Yes, it may be easy to order such an atrocity, but actually being there and following these orders? How could these men ever go home to their families and play with their own children again? Those are things I just can't get in my head. German concentration camp monster Dr. Mengele was notorious for his cruel experiments on the inmates, many of them children. Outside his job, he was known as a committed family man, father, and grandfather. What went on in the head of such a person, who tortures little kids during the day, and then goes home to read bedtime stories to his own children?

Atrocities like this did not only happen back then, they are very much still a reality in many African countries, and not a too distant past in Yugoslavia or Kosovo. Thinking about all this confirms more and more to me that there is nothing besides this life. I would like to believe in the circle of life and rebirth, but what could someone possibly have done to deserve being burned alive as a baby? And what will become of the people who commit these horrible acts in their next life? Which life form is lowly enough for this scum? And how could any god, no matter which one, allow things like that to happen? Most likely, there are no gods, no re-birth, no second chance, so I'd better make the best of what I have in this life. I want to enjoy every second, because everything could be over in the next. I want to raise my girls in a safe environment to become educated, independent adults, who can think for themselves. My legacy will be what I achieve in this life, the lessons I teach my daughters to pass on to their children one day. If I fail now, there won't be a second chance, or at least the probability of a second chance is way too small for me to rely on.

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