Kid’s Play: Threats and Safety

Armodoxy for Today: Kid’s Play/Threats and Safety

Armenia is surrounded by hostile neighbors. One wonders, what is life like under the imminent danger of attack and war? We know that existential threats, that is the possibility of extinction of a country and people, is a reality in many parts of the world.

In Armenia, you’ll find a very healthy family life, with young kids playing carefree on the streets to a late hour. The streets are literally filled with life. This is not a cliché but a reality that can be witnessed any night of the week.

We sat in the courtyard of St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Cathedral in Yerevan. From one side a young man was playing with a drone, piloting it in and through the arms and legs of a 70 foot bronze statue of a horse with St. Vartan Mamikonian riding it. From the other side of the park, young people with arms locked, were laughing about some inside joke. A group of tourists joined the fun by picking up ice cream cones from the local vendor, licking away at vanilla and chocolate swirls. In a skatepark, skaters and razor-riders dared each other with a beautiful display of riding that looked almost as if it were choregraphed.

To borrow a phrase from Ian Anderson, “Skating away on the thin ice of a new day…”

Parents at a distant, confident that their children are fine and safe enjoy one another’s company.

For us, from the United States, we can’t even imagine a similar scenario in America today. Oh, yes, there was a time when carefree went hand-in-hand with youth, but those days are deposited in our memories and sometimes they are jarred from those forgotten spots by a scene from a movie or a shared story. Today fear from within has paralyzed society from enjoying these simple moments, begging the question, what is the difference here or there? Do we not also face imminent danger? Random shooters, child theft and trafficking are the counterparts to planned attack and war. One enemy is the known – we know his whereabout, we see him – while the other enemy is a random occurrence, with the variables of person, place and time unknown. Both elicit fear and pose a threat to life.

The prayer of St. Nersess Shnorhali, from the 15th hour comes to us, Christ, guardian of all, may your right hand protect and shelter me by day and by night, while at home and while away, while asleep and while awake, so I may never fall. Have mercy on all your creatures. Amen.

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