Balkan Reflections

This blog has been set up to assist in communicating with friends and family while we are in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Location: Ontario, Canada

Striving to a better day.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Today's word is 'Hate'.

We've been trying to teach our children not to use that word. Since 9/11, we're fairly certain they don't really know what it means.

We live now in a country where many people DO know what it means.

Hate is what drives someone to wish injury or death on someone else...someone they may not even know.

The events of 9/11 made hate very evident to, at least, a whole continent. But this is nothing new. Conditions of hate have existed for centuries in some the Balkan countries, Northern Ireland, Cypress...

I discovered, while doing a bit of research yesterday, that one of the towns we drove through after our little road trip of a couple of weeks ago, had been the sight of a mass grave. The place was Mrkonic Grad. While we were there, I did notice that it looked harder hit than many areas we'd seen.

I have also been reading about centuries old churches and mosques that have been looted and/or destroyed along with many treasures, by one side or the other in this long conflict.

Perhaps most poignant are the graveyards that have been desecrated. Stones damaged, in some cases removed, and in some places the very graves themselves have been disturbed.

A grave without a stone means that the person will cease to exist, even in memory, in any human sense.

I cannot speculate on what might drive a person to such a level of hatred. I do know that the local school here in B-L is being supervised to make sure that old hatred is not being perpetuated by the teachers. This may help.

I find it particularly unbelievable that hate is often being taught and perpetrated under the guise of religion.

I cannot draw any conclusions here. It would seem that, like other sin, the tendency to hate is part of the human condition.

All I can dare to suggest for these situations (and they certainly exist outside of the Balkans) is humble prayer.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Husband has seen that place. But He can not talk about it... It is a really bad memory for him. Well more like a nightmare for him.
It is so sad what " Hate" is able to do to the Human pysche.
God is Love. Peace to you and may God Bless and keep you all save.

4:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I served in the british army (1QLR), and was based in Mrkonic Grad in 1996, i can remember the mass grave being discovered. I still wake up thinking about things i saw there. I was only 20, i now have my own family and live a completely different life to the one that 20 year old was living, and my time there makes me realise how lucky i am!

5:09 pm  

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