For those of us with kids, we remember those “firsts” when they started to grow up. Their first step, their first words, their first day of school, their first date, their first breakup, their first time taking the car, their first traffic ticket, their first car accident, their first trip alone, their first... you fill in the blank.
But I wonder who taught our kids or us that most famous of phrases “I forgot”. It seems at a very young age, these two words formed their first phrase which became their first excuse.
Did you pick up your clothes? I forgot.
Did you do your homework? I forgot.
Did you brush your teeth? I forgot.
Did you turn out the lights? I forgot.
And even as they get older it doesn’t stop. Recently, I was away for the weekend. I asked my kids, who are now young adults, if they would put out the garbage for me. When I finally came back home, I opened the garage door and there it still was. I asked, “Why didn’t you guys put out the garbage for me?” For them the simple answer or excuse was “We forgot!” And I find myself caught in the same place when I might be asked “Merv, did you pick up milk?” and my easy answer back is, “I’m sorry, I forgot!”
It is interesting that right after Thanksgiving comes Remembrance Day. One reminds us to be thankful for what we have, and the other emphasizes the importance of remembering what we have from the sacrifice of others. Maybe Remembrance Day should come before Thanksgiving Day. If we remember first, it is then much easier to be thankful.
Remembrance Day is associated with those whose lives were sacrificed for our freedom and safety. This we should not forget and we should be very thankful for. But it is easy to forget since most of us, including myself, have not been close enough to these events or associated with the tragedy arising from these events to have impressed upon us the sacrifice that was made our behalf. It is said, “There is no greater love than one who would lay down their life for their friends.” Wow! So thanks to all those who not only gave their lives over the years for our sake, but also to all the friends and family who were tragically affected as well by such sacrifice. We do not forget their suffering for our sake. That point was made clear to me recently when my friend Howard posted on his Facebook page a request that we remember in our prayers his nephew who was travelling to Afghanistan, a war whose purpose causes much confusion and controversy because we do not understand the issues associated with it. So many lives lost and families in pain because of war. I couldn’t imagine how I would handle such tragedy if it was my son Richard or my daughter Joanna.
I found this interesting poem which reflects on war and peace. Unfortunately, I do not know the author.
Man invents war. Man discovers peace.
He invents war from without.
He discovers peace from within.
War man throws. Peace man sows.
The smile of war is the flood of human blood.
The smile of peace is the love, below, above.
Peace is the whole truth that wishes to enrapture humanity.
War is the whole falsehood that wants to capture humanity.
Peace begins in the soul and ends in the heart.
War begins in the mind and ends in the body.
War forgets peace. Peace forgives war.
War is the death of the life human. Peace is the birth of the Life Divine.
Our vital passions want war.
Our psychic emotions desire peace.
War is clear futility in dire spear-stupidity.
Peace is flowing infinity in glowing eternity.
Man seeks war when he thinks that the world is not his.
Man invites war when he feels that he can conquer the world.
Man proclaims war when he dreams
that the world has already surrendered to him.
Man seeks peace because his earthly existence desperately needs it.
Man welcomes peace because he feels
that in peace alone is his life of achievement and fulfillment.
Man spreads peace because he wants to transcend death.
The animal in man wars against peace in the outer world,
in the world of conflicting ideas.
The divine in man wars against ignorance in the inner world,
in the world of mounting ideals.
The animal in man wants war for the sake of war,
war to devour the snoring world.
The divine in man wants peace for the sake of peace,
peace to feed the hungry world.
Do I, do we remember what we should remember?
Let’s not forget our past.
Life is lived forward but understood backwards!
Let’s not forget to:
Be thankful for what we have and who we are.
Be kind and do good to one another.
Be hopeful for a better future.