Where does it all lead?

Where does it all lead?  We are a people without our own destiny.  Our fate is sealed not even with the leaders we pretend to choose, but those of another larger country – whose course is on an apparent and direct collision with the rest of the world.

We rapidly become an exact replica of our neighbours – in every way but self-perception.  Our farmers have been driven from their family operations.  Our children devour the same centrally produced genetically altered food – deep fried, super-sized and fast, no less. What resources and products left under our control are negotiated away through quiet agreements the average person will never read much less comprehend.  We watch their media reminding us of the villains that lurk about in our own society as well as those in the wider world who hate our southerly neighbours and by proxy us.  The air we pollute is the same, already contaminated by the remaining smoke stacks supporting a floundering economy to which we are so intrinsically tied.  Perhaps these similarities make it easier for us to continue sacrificing not just our sons but also our daughters to poorly explained wars that seem only attempts at furthering an ideology many find ever-more difficult to swallow.

The graveyard out the window of the apartment my children have so hurriedly stored me away in represents more than the friends I have lost supporting a government, business leaders and other elites in their pursuits of power.  In the centre of a city spreading like some cancerous growth, this plot of headstones withers and rots with the passing of time.  Forgotten are all those who, some willingly and others less so, laid down their lives for the beliefs of rulers – and promises that the side on which they fought would bring about a better world.  Lock the aged up in homes and distant flats – proclaim their lifelong observations senseless rants.  Ignore most vehemently those insights which strike the very core of every person’s present existence – there is little that we cling to now that truly matters.

Alas, it is only a small number of us at the end of the journey that can glance back and fully understand the path.  I, too, in my time was distracted by wants, needs and events that were encountered along the way of life.  Did I listen to those few elders who knew from experience where much of it all leads – or did I senselessly follow the calls to step in line with the rest of the herd?  That I stare out over a cemetery containing my friends – dead not from age but from conflict – speaks volumes.  When will this pattern end?

“Grandpa,” inquired a little girl with eyes suggesting wisdom impossible for her few years, “what does that graveyard mean to you?”

The weathered old man released his grip from the sliding glass door leading to the balcony – and with it the negativity wrought in his musings.  He turned to the small creature whose inquisitive stare begged for knowledge and understanding, picking her up under the armpits.

“My dear,” his voice was gruff but the creases emanating from the corner of his eyes danced, “I would be only too happy to share.”

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