Saturday, May 4, 2013

How do you do it?

For much of my life I have constantly had an interest in people. I love learning about the mind, people's behaviors, facial expressions...everything about what makes a person who they are. I believe in people. I believe that people are good. I believe that we all have this deep, true, good desire to help others, to make meaningful connections.

But, life happens, socialization happens, and we can become hardened. We can lose that desire to serve and just need to survive, or become self-oriented, or any number of reasons!

This is where my studies have taken me. I began my fascination with people studying the Rwandan Genocide. I wanted to know why someone could do something so terrible! I wanted to understand, or at least grasp the changes that could happen in someone to reach a level to order and then carry out the murders of thousands of people. From Rwanda I went to the Holocaust, Idi Amin, the Middle East (all of it), slave trade, human trafficking, then the blood shed during the partition of India and Pakistan and so on. My soul grew so weary. But I kept studying.

I majored in Psychology in my undergrad and was torn between Mental Health and Social Psych which deals with everything I have always studied. I ventured into documentaries and books about serial killers and dictators. Again, my soul grew even more weary.

Friends and family asked many times, How do you do it? Day after day you read about these terrible things...how do you do it? My answer always was, I don't know, but someone has to.

About half way through my degree I found a light. I began to cling to prayer, my faith, my God and to the words of the prophets. This provided more clarity into the minds of these people I was resigned to never understand. I grew to understand them in the way the Savior does. I don't love them, but I am not disgusted or angry anymore. I understand that they made the choices that took them down those dark paths that led to the atrocities. I understand the sorrow that God feels for His children who choose unwisely. I have felt that many times for many, many reasons and I feel it as I continue to study conflict and violence and war even now.

But as I find myself writing a paper on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I am back where I started. Studying about the bloodshed and violence that was ignited by the Rwandan Genocide, by the rebels and refugees who fled into the DRC and continued violence across the border. That violence has continued for about seventeen years. As I am immersed in the bad, I continue to wonder, why? But this time I have the Lord's help in sorting out my feelings.

So How do I do it? With the help of the Lord.




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