We Shall Not Hate

Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian medical doctor raised in a refugee camp on the Gaza Strip, whose 3 daughters were killed by Israelis, has a message for all of us in his book, I Shall Not Hate. As a medical doctor, his main focus is on healing people, caring for and educating all children as a means to a peaceful world.

 He urges us to “stop the killing” and stop trying to justify what harm is done by calling people militants in order to justify actions shelling homes. It doesn’t matter what side we’re on, the game continues. Currently, we can see the health effects of returning service people who cannot justify what they have been asked to do in other countries. We label the problem PTSD and expect them to “resolve their issues” with therapy. Yet, how many of us would just be able to pick up and get on with our lives, had we been on the killing fields, doing the opposite of whatever religious training has been instilled in us?

 The same pattern is being used in the struggle to Stop the Northern Pass. Proponents minimize the miserable costs of health dues our children and adults would have to pay, to say nothing of the financial problems the Pass would bring to families. Now, citizens from the whole state have to speak up because so few of our 400 representatives can be depended upon to do their homework and protect our health. Pass people justify their greed by minimizing health effects, calling opponents “not-in-my-backyard” people, drumming up myths and painting a rosy picture that will never happen if the Pass goes through.

 The opposite of “We Shall Not Hate” is “We Shall Care”. We shall care about what happens to our children, our wildlife, and this refuge that even the tourists refer to as, “God’s Country.”

 I recently drove from Newton, MA to my home in Thornton during the rush hour, a long, slow drive amidst wall to wall houses and businesses. While I am thankful that I don’t have to make that trip regularly, I also realize that it is more important than ever to keep our state the refuge that it is for the people who head north for R&R.

 The question is, “How much do we care about our families and fellow citizens of the earth?”

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