When I was in my late teens/early twenties, my generation were still surfing the end of the Aids massacre, nuclear war and the beginning of Global Warming fears. Now, our older children and young adults face a World War of unimaginable proportions. It is both a cold war and a hot war. It is on the ground and in our minds. It has no single enemy and no ready solution and it is a religious war of the very worst kind.
Today, I talked briefly with Fred and Iz, two lovely pupils at my son’s school here in Germany. They are both exceptionally intelligent and well-informed and very, very anxious. Both of them believe Germany will be next in line for some terrible act of violence. They are dismayed with Angel Merkel for allowing such undisciplined charity in a time where ‘being kind’ can lead to grand-scale murder.
But mostly, both girls just couldn’t believe that men and women, only a few years older than themselves, wanted to embark on such a journey Why did they want to hurt, maim, terrorise and murder in such vivid style and how could the world ask them to stop and be heard? The lasting impression I had before they boarded the school bus was that they had so many questions. Important questions that deserved to be answered.
And I felt utterly futile because I couldn’t answer them competently or provide the comfort they sought.
Because, ‘Why?’ really is the question of the hour.
The next one should be ‘How?’.