Thursday, October 05, 2006

Amish Response to School Shootings....

I have a new respect for the Amish people.

A few news reports yesterday and this morning took time out from their "ain't it a shame" awfulizing and sensationalizing (reasons never addressed) to give Amish people a voice. Those who were interviewed made it a point to emphasize that they have forgiven the shooter and his family. The shooter's family was invited to the funerals of the little girls who died. When asked why they had such a forgiving attitude, one man said, "If we expect God to forgive us, we must forgive others."

Regardless of one's personal theology, belief in God or not, belief in karma or not, it takes an especially evolved personality to allow the cycle of forgiveness to work instead of immediately jumping on the vengeance bandwagon so frequently espoused and encouraged in this culture.

I am not a religious person. The question of the existence of a personal God is still an open one. There is something "out there" but I am the last person capable of defining it. However, I do like to learn from religious thought. One of my favorite passages from the Christian Bible is "Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain." (I Chronicles 4:10)

In this horrible school shooting situation, that is how the Amish have responded. Stop the cycle of pain.

Can you imagine for just a moment what we would be like if we were able to live such a belief? No more need to "get even", no more need to harm others to increase our own power, no more need to go out into the world to conquer it?

What would that be like?

May all be forgiven ~ and may all forgive...

Thailand Gal

1 comment:

Dogwalkmusings said...

We have a situation here where a car crossed over a median and hit another in which five youngsters were killed and the father, driving, was seriously injured.

Mennonites. Like the Amish, the family and community forgave the driver. No drugs, no alcohol, no one is sure exactly what happened. The family and commuity agreed horrible accidents happen. The authorities, however, are determined to bring charges.

Ever get the feeling we're on the wrong side of the fence?