As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace, and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect.
The truth is the other day I was flipping through the channels and saw that Romeo and Juliet was on. So I decided to select this channel and watch. The film was almost at the end, the part where Friar Lawrence was telling Juliet about the plot, where she could fake her death, deceive her family in order to runaway and live a happy life with Romeo. So I watched, but when the part came where Juliet decides to kill herself, I decided to switch it off. I couldn't watch someone kill themselves. After thinking about my reaction, I remembered my reaction when I studied this text in high school, which was very different. The fact that one could be in love to perform this act for the sake of love was quite awe striking. While I do believe this type of love, where there is a meeting of the souls exists, from the perspective of a mother and educator, I realized that this scene is an act of violence, self-harm, and also an abuse to the self. It is promoting suicide. I am taking a critical stance, I wonder what the teens who are studying this text would think. When there are so many issues concerning mental (Mind/Brain) health, what are scenes or acts like this in dramatic plays promoting, when adolescents/teens are already going through the turbulence of puberty? Hormones are acting, reacting, and already flustered. So whilst I am not saying that teaching this material is right or wrong, I do believe that there is an opportunity for teaching about issues such as: the consequences of self-harm, or any abuse to the self.
If we think about the love between Romeo and Juliet, what sparked the forbidden element to the tragedy? It was the age old conflict between the Montague's and Capulet's. This conflict can be related to any family where there are struggles, tension, conflicts or feuds, at the micro level of the home. We can also take the example of the Montague's and the Capulet's to the Macro level, where we can think of the societal, religious, or political conflicts. For example: The age old conflict between different religious sects such as the Sunni and the Shia. The two Muslim sects which could also be considered rivals. But why does this conflict never end? Why does it repeat itself generation after generation? We have to remember and understand that these conflicts are also influenced through sociological constructions, to enforce and create divides. Today we see Muslim against Muslim, claiming blood for blood, because of the sectarian divides. When truly these sects have to recognize and see the brotherhood, and sisterhood within each other. The sects should not divide you from the fact that you are one Ummah, who should be serving the One God united. You see when there is an Ummah united, no political force can disrupt, because the forces that want to tear apart sectarian unity, will not be strong enough.
For example: we are now hearing of the violence, and attack from Russia. Russia is allied with Iran, and also the Assad Regime. Assad the bought and sold puppet who watches to see his own blood being murdered - for what? Power, greed, and for anything else he has made deals for and with. But we can also call-out Iran here as well. Do you sit, stand-by to watch your Muslim brothers, sisters, and children to be murdered at the hands of the Russian-Assad plots? With Iran's power I can't imagine how they are allowing this to carry one. What is more important the alliance with Russia, or your own Muslim brothers, sisters, and children? At this present day are being attacked, just like the holy family was at Karbala. The Karbala that is mourned is happening to this day. The Shia faith is also being tested. Are you going to re-make, and invest in the age old sectarian violences, or are you going to help your brothers, sisters, and children in Syria, Iraq, and all other nations that you have detached yourself from?
While l have offered the example of sectarian violence of the Sunni's and the Shia's, political deals, alliances created for the creation of maintaining religious tension, and sectarian divides, they can be transferred to any group where there are similarities. These words should serve as a wake-up call to Iran, and also to the International community. How long can this violence carry on? How long can the World watch the murderous regime of Syria carry on? Why is Assad allowing his own people to be killed? And Russia's attacks that might be viewed as protection for many, are actually done to in-still hate and deepen the divides. And it is with these words I think back to the feud of the Montague's and Capulet's. How can feuds be put to an end, and how can sectarian violence be put to an end?