We are all born into a life that we have no control over. We cannot pick our parents. We cannot choose what their careers will be, whether they will be well off or whether they will struggle to feed us. We have no control over whether we are born to a family that has health insurance. Whether you call it luck or divine inspiration… whether you believe it is happenstance or that God specifically picked your family for you… whatever your beliefs are you still had no say in who you were born to or what country you were born in.
This came up with a friend the other day. We were talking about current events and al Qaeda came up. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of al Qaeda started a jihadist group at the age of 15. To that I commented that I was too busy rolling my eyes at my parents at 15 to even care about world affairs. My friend mentioned something about how the life of a 15 year old would look extremely different in Egypt than it does here in the US… to this I think well of course! But, then I really started thinking about it.
How many things shape our life that we have no control over? Terrorism is obviously awful but how can we ever fully understand the lives those men and BOYS live. Many of the suicide bombers are young, they are still boys! The day after that conversation the story about the three boys shooting a random guy because they were “bored” and wanted to see someone die came out… these are American boys… can their lives be that much different than mine? Obviously, the answer to that is yes because never once have I or my brothers been so bored we thought hey you know what would be fun, killing someone… What kind of life do those kids have to have to think that? What kind of life must the teenage boys used as suicide bombers have that they feel killing themselves and others is the answer?
I have no answers on any of this, only questions… and clearly my thoughts are hardly coherent. How different would my life be if I had been born poor, or a different race or in a different country where women are seen as second class citizens? How do I take what I have been given and work to help others that haven’t been given as much? If I can’t even wrap my head around what could bring three American boys to shoot someone just because, how could I even begin to understand the thoughts and feelings of people in other countries?
Like I said I have no answers, just questions… maybe you have an opinion or a comment that can help lead to an answer… maybe we can start to solve this together.