Monday, 3 October 2016

100 children were killed in Allepo....on Friday

An major indicator of a society's decency and morality is how it treat's it's children 

Lesotho: 2014

Genocide is happening in Syria.  One hundred children died in Allepo  on Friday alone, as a result of the conflict.

I can't say much about the Syrian regime or the rebel forces they are fighting or the foreign actors vying for power in the region but the thought of 100 children dying on Friday, in one city, in the epicentre of the conflict, well, it just makes me angry and terribly discouraged about the state of our world.

When I try to imagine being a child in Aleppo or the parents of one of the murdered children, I can't allow myself to focus for too long before my chest tightens up and a deep anxiety floods my brain.  I toss the thoughts out.  Who has time to be traumatized vicariously by thoughts of dying children on the other side of the world?  Really, in my world of navel gazing North Americans, who has time?

When I was in Lesotho in August of 2011, I spent a day thinking about children; watching them, listening to them, studying them.

In Lesotho, there are children everywhere.  Most people live in cinder block houses or thatch roofed huts which are tolerable only for sleep and shelter.  The beautiful mountains of Lesotho draw everyone out into the streets and the fields.  Children are everywhere, playing, walking and laughing.  They are a constant source of light and joy.  Most of the children there are so deprived of the basic necessities of life.  They are poorly clothed.  They lack nutritious food.  Many are orphaned;  but none of that  seems to dampen their ability to bring joy and elicit laughter.  

I watched two children playing outside their tin shack.  One, a girl of about 7, was picking up sticks in the dusty yard while her younger brother crawled in the dirt.  Neither were supervised but they were surrounded by a barbed wire fence and they seemed to be safe.  It was around 9 am and the crowds of neatly uniformed students had long since made their way to school.  This property looked bleak and dark.  I doubt the family that lived their could afford school fees. 

I remember how easy it was to place  the tragedy of the situation aside because joy and innocence permeated the scene and smothered any kind of negative sentiment.  Children under a year are completely absorbed in their environment and take delight from the sheer joy of discovering their own ability to move and explore their surroundings.  This infant had just learned to crawl and the fact that he was crawling in dirt outside a cold shack made no difference to him.  

The children in the darkest parts of our world where human suffering is beyond imagination, are bright lights that pop through the darkness reminding us that joy still exists, that hope is always present and that the world could be a much, much better place if we each took the time to feel when we think of their suffering and then be moved to act. 

How we treat our children is not just a measure of a society's decency and morality but of our own. 

Lesotho 2014 

Let's keep thirty nine of these beauties alive to brighten the world for many years to come.

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1 comment:

  1. Posts like this and the support it creates help. Thanks for doing your part.