Baghdad museums have been looted of priceless antiquities.
Many cry in sorrow over the loss of great historical artifacts, and
rightly so. But what about the loss of the greatest of all
antiquities--the legacy of wisdom and knowledge passed from
grandparent to grandchild? Who is protecting that great
Friday, February 20,
2004—Ground Zero Plus 891
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Feb 20, 2004 -- The Beast of Terror loves
to rip and shred culture, to destroy the legacy between the past and
He's doing that in Iraq.
Matthew Bogdanos is the head of the artifact recovery team in Iraq
The attack by
Terrorists on culture is an attack on the children
The attack by Terrorism on culture is not an attack on the adults, but
on the children. History belongs to the children.
It is their roadmap to both the future and the past, for history
points to a path. It shows how, over time, good
always conquers evil, right always triumphs over wrong, hope always
shines brighter than dismay.
Terrorism wants to destroy such legacies. It wants to rape
the children of their history so they might be blinded by the present.
If one were to look at the world today as a mere slice of life, one
might wonder how far humans have come in the evolutionary process.
struggling to all hold hands as one world
But, if we look at the history of our evolution over thousands of
years, we see a different picture. Fewer wars are
being fought, fewer deaths are being recorded, longer lives are being
lived, more compassion is being issued for one another, the strong are
seeking to help the weak, and we are struggling to all hold hands as
one world as never before in time.
importantly, today, in the 21st Century, our number one enemy is not
ourselves, but Terrorism, and those who would issue it by intent or
the world cries when 35 Russians die in a subway bombing.
A few hundred years ago, they would have never known it happened.
this is part of history.
Terrorism seeks to destroy such history.
American children were robbed of their grandparents and put in
Eastern boarding schools
In America, children of the Indian tribes were taken from their
parents and put in Eastern boarding schools in an attempt to cleave
the culture, to steal from the children the legacy of their past.
By destroying the link to their language and culture, the belief was
the "uncivilized redskin" could be tamed.
Fortunately, it didn't work.
did create havoc.
is a similar Cultural Terrorism we face in America. It is
the splitting of families. With more than 50 percent of
marriages ending in divorce, there is a break in the passage of
cultural legacy from grandparents to children.
fractures the paths of passage of information. Often it litters
the road with bitterness and anger, causing children to shy from
embracing one side of the family more than another for fear of being
accused of "favoritism."
walk on eggshells, not wanting to do or say anything that might injure
their rights to see the grandchildren.
caution tends to lock up the legacy of the child's heritage. Who
were their great grandparents? Their great great grandparents?
What did they think? What did they do? How did they act?
museums show us a collective history of our past, like the Museum of
Man in Manhattan. It is filled with things you cannot touch or
feel, locked in glass cases that seem distant and forbidden, but yet
belong to us all.
grandparents are our Living Museums
Living museums are our grandparents, great grandparents.
They house the life and blood of our legacy, defining in many ways who
we are and why we are. They contain wisdoms that reach back
hundreds of years. If their grandparents shared the legacy
of life's living with them, that would represent 80 years for grandma
and 80 years of legacy for grandpa, a total of 160 years.
Double that because ideally there are two sets of grandparents.
That makes 320 years of historic gifts delivered to a grandchild by
just one set of grandparents.
Confusing? Not really. If each grandparent carries
80 years of artifacts around--the history of their family--and there
are four grandparents, that's (4x's 80) 320 years from just the
current grandparent generation. Go back one set of
grandparents, to the great grandparents, and you have another 320
years. If the grandparents today include in their
legacy of family history and informational wisdom the legacy from
their grandparents, a current grandchild will receive 640 years of
history from just the living artifacts from grandparents' and great
grandparents' experiences in life.
If there is a real crime today, it may not be just the looting and
destruction of ancient artifacts from Baghdad's museums.
The real crime might be when a grandparent doesn't share with a
grandchild the wisdom and history of his or her life.
If a grandparent is reluctant to share the inner wisdoms of life with
a child for any reason, he or she is locking the Museum of Vigilance's
door to the child. All of us live lives of mistakes.
We learn how to make the fewest possible, sometimes at great expense
to ourselves and others.
is about teaching the present how to preserve the good and avoid the
bad. History is a map through a mine field. It
is also a sextant, guiding us into the unknown, urging us to go over
the "edge of the world" and explore the limitless potential.
that history can be snuffed by the Terrorism of Divorce, or by
Grandparental Selfishness. Grandparents can avoid
and duck their duty to share the wisdom of life with their
grandchildren. Many do.
Grandparents who consider their lives to be open books of knowledge
and wisdom for their grandchildren to read and learn from, are handing
their children's children one of the great artifacts of life--living
grandparent who denies access to the grandchild, is like the
Terrorists who loot the museums. He or she deprives the
child of their rightful history. He or she blinds the
child to all the lessons of life, and puts the child at great risk to
be attacked by the Beast of Terror.
Such a grandparent is not a
Sentinel of Generational Vigilance.
What can grandparents do
today to insure their role as Grandparents of Vigilance and avoid
being a Grandparent of Terrorism?
First, spend lots of time with the grandkids. Earn
their trust and respect by playing their games, sharing in their
imaginations, building bridges of confidence.
Second, share your wisdoms with them, in relation to their concerns.
Pass on the values you have learned, and explain how you might held
one viewpoint and then changed it. When my
grandson wanted to know why I was against killing in war because I was
a Marine, I told him I had changed. I had learned that life is
precious over time. And when I was young, I did not see what I
saw when I was older.
"Oh," my grandson said.
In a simple
way, I illustrated the ability to change from a Beast of Terror to a
Sentinel of Vigilance. I didn't have to go into great detail.
My wisdom was that "we can all change."
artifacts in museums may be priceless treasures, there is no price on
the living wisdom given from a grandparent to a child.
a Grandparent of Vigilance.
the Pledge of Vigilance today. Keep the Legacy of Life alive.