We all have grown up with this idea of seeing a perfect world. Peace. It's defined by Webster's Dictionary as "a state of tranquility;" otherwise known to our four-year-old mindsets as a happy ending. As we grow older, there is still a small voice in the back of our minds, when we watch the news or read an article, of this sense of hope.
It is a hope that the dreams we wished to see fulfilled when we were little would come to fruition; that world peace and good will would "triumph all." But as I turn on the TV or power on my laptop it seems that our generation is slowly drifting away from this idea of unity.
We've become so used to warring and conflicting nations, people and parties, that I've come to find my imagination -- my inner child -- a little let down. I've come to feel that this notion that "peace" is a long-told generational lie, a myth. It's for the dreamers and the innocent, for our inner child that still has so much hope in the world's unity and have yet to face reality.
The shooting in Newton, Connecticut is horrifying. It's sickening. It's perplexing, shocking and repulsive. I honestly don't know how to react and even those words don't seem to suffice.
It's sad really, because although this act was so unbelievably horrific, it only took one day for all of the teenagers on my timeline on Twitter to forget and move on. Not because they're cruel and heartless people, but because it almost seems as though they've become desensitized to violence. In a sense, they can't realize its reality because it's not occurring where they are, or perhaps this is just another sad story that has taken place in the sad world around them.
For every child killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, you can't help but think aloud and stare at their innocence as their pictures are released. They are the ones who still have hope, who only see the good in the world. A world where the anticipation for Christmas and the holidays were in their minds, because what could be better than Christmas?
They are our generation of dreamers, and yet they were the ones who had to face the most harrowing reality possible. For every child that left us on Friday, I can't help but cry for humanity, because it wasn't simply their innocent lives that were lost, but also a little part of all of us -- our kindergarten selves.
The same images can be mirrored around the world.
In central China, 22 children and an elderly woman were stabbed at a primary school the same day as the Connecticut shootings.
And being a Sudanese-American, the crisis between North and South Sudan is an issue I take serious interest in, even as the conflict between the two countries fails to gain media attention.
Even the heavy partisan divide in Congress today reflects this struggle for conflicting parties to make peace.
But I guess all of this combat is needed, in a sense.In order to truly utilize the value of every agreement and every treaty, and to appreciate the value of "the happy ending," the princess must overcome contention and struggle. That is, after all, how the lesson is learned. For every child killed, and every innocent person that struggles, "hope" becomes motivation for change.
And in reality, every dreamer needs a reason to have a dream.
Perhaps we should take it from the most peaceful man himself. When asked about his quest for good, Mahatma Gandhi answered, "When I despair, I remember that all through history, the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it -- always."
And in a sense, we owe it to all of the lives lost -- especially every child's life lost -- to make their dreams and innocent beliefs in peace, or at least happiness, true. Because for every dreamer we lose, we have one more reason to fight for good.