Is it wrong to want to inflict a mental illness on everyone in the World except a few? Is it wrong to want to give them amnesia, to make them forget why they have been arguing with their family, their neighbour their friend, why they have been fighting with the enemy, forget how to read so that the words written by men that encourage segregation and hate are disregarded? Is it wrong to want them to forget about religion, conflict, war and how to use weapons? Is it wrong to erase the memories? What if everyone woke up and instinct took over. If the human brain had been rewired overnight. You see dogs help cats, lions help tigers in zoos, you see people of different races and creeds all living together to help one another. What if the memories of just the good guys were left intact?
Pick a good guy you know, go on, think about someone whose memory shouldn’t be erased. Think about yourself. Can you honestly say that you have never had a bad thought towards another human being? You’ve never wanted to drag the idiot out of the car that almost ran you off the road. You’ve never wanted to pin your neighbour up against the wall and shout, you’re a bloody nuisance. You’ve never wanted to tell the guy that wants to tell his life story to the receptionist at the doctors to get a life, shut up and get out of the way before you kick him violently. As if you could kick someone any other way.
The point is, it wouldn’t work. It’s a lovely fantasy. Everyone wakes up tomorrow morning and the armies put down their weapons, the terrorists start helping the people they have terrorised. The authorities stop thinking about money and start thinking about people. Ok that one is a way, way out there, fantasy? But what if?
I have enemies, self-obsession, paranoia, righteousness have all caused me to enter conflict and upset people. My neighbours for instance. I don’t harbour any ill feelings towards either side. On my left is a lonely man who has no friends and whose alcoholism has caused his self-isolation. We don’t talk. If we woke up tomorrow and forgot our conflict, how long do you think we would last before we were at loggerheads again. I’d give it 24 hours.
The same with the armies, they might not start fighting over the same thing as before, but it wouldn’t take long before they found something to argue over. Before the people in charge found a reason to stop working together and start wars. For people to find differences in opinion and for religion to reform and for beliefs to separate us. We are only human after all.
Tomorrow is Christmas day, I take a rest. I stop cooking and I close the door behind me, sit down and do nothing for two whole days. No conflict, no arguments and no problems. Aren’t I lucky. I don’t live in a war zone, I don’t have to spend the day with relatives and pretend that I like them. I don’t have to put up with idiot, sleep on the streets, fear for my life nor feel hunger nor pain. I count my blessings.
If I wake up with amnesia would my life be different. Would I worry less or more at the not knowing? Would I be less confrontational, or more defensive? Would I fight harder for my liberty or accept the way things are?
Maybe we could choose selective amnesia and just forget the bad things. If we all just stopped thinking about the differences we have that aren’t really that important for one day and listened to everyone else’s point of view. I’ve heard the Christians and the Muslims and their stories. They are wonderful and 2000 years ago they were relevant. Now they are stories that teach us how to live better lives. I’m not about to stab the next Jehovah Witness because she knocks on the door and gives me a magazine.
It’s the rights we give each other that make us better people and it’s the responsibility we have as human beings to try and understand others that is important. If I could replace all the hate and the misconceptions and the self-righteous rubbish with just one thing it would be that, acceptance.
Now then, where is my baseball bat, there are few people who need a clout on the head tonight so that tomorrow they wake up with amnesia, I have a long night ahead of me. As I give them amnesia Father Christmas can drop them off the gift of acceptance. Oh well it’s a nice fantasy.