If you want to know what this blog is about…
Repeating something does not make it real
But it can make us believe it is. Peace is not the absence of war, peace is so much more. Peace is eating three times a day, peace is going to school, peace is a roof above, peace is the absence of fear, peace is hope in the future. Peace is when you know you can live and raise a family in peace.
The simple truth is we have been accustomed to a cheap version of this concept and celebrate the end of wars like the final solution that ends all problems. Then we forget about it and feel uncomfortable when we are reminded by the news that something remains rotten in Denmark. Thank God for the remote.
We do not like to acknowledge those things. It is easier to ignore them, not to picture them in our minds. In the end, it is going to be a barefoot dark-skinned kid lost in a tropical jungle somewhere. Something distant, something not so real. Or even better, just a number. Some comfortable statistics.
Please, make an effort and don’t look elsewhere this time…
A blond eight year old child goes out through the backyard and meets some of her friends to play hide-and-seek in the forest. She runs among the beech trees, her beautiful white dress wrapped around her eternally scratched knees, her ponytail flying merrily behind her. A wrong step, a soft click and a deafening explosion. Mines are devised to maim adults, but with children… The other kids gather around her, too young to understand, to help. Not that there is anything to do but to try to ease the horror in those little blue eyes. And fail. The simple truth is that, if the little girl is lucky, she will die right away. There is no salvation for her and she is to far from any help to even have her pain eased. She will die there, alone, shattered, terrified, calling for her mummy.
The rest of the kids will live to suffer nightmares, to fear the forest where they used to play, to grow up in shock. Or to die another day, while playing, fetching water, or going somewhere. Or maybe they will grow up to have children of their own and see them die the same way…
Now, let’s take it one step further. Instead of the little girl, picture your son, your daughter, your nephew, your grand daughter,your neighbor, the child you love most in this world. Pretty hard, uh? I can barely do it. Too painful. My throat closes at the idea of opening that door.
The simple truth is this didn’t happen in the 19th century. It is happening today. Every thirty minutes. The world could use some of the money invested in killing one another in cleaning up properly afterwards, but we seem to prefer to detect landmines and unexploded bombs by blowing children while we look elsewhere and spend that money in things that are much more necessary.
If you reached this far, thank you. I probably ruined your mood. Unfortunately, that is what I meant. Please, read on. We are almost done.
Simple truths and simple lies. Our choice.
We can do something about it or we can do nothing.
The simple truth is we can always do something. Me, I just wrote this post and made this poster. You, you can spread it or spread similar information from other sources, or anything that comes to mind. We can try to help remove those explosives, we can help try to make manufacturers stop selling them, we can try to make manufacturers devise some sort of perishable triggering system that renders explosives harmless in five years, we can try…
The simple lie is to tell ourselves that the little we can do counts for nothing, so better not move. And repeat till we believe. Come on, do something while you are still in this dark mood. Do something before all turns back to soothing grey.
Do something. Now.
Edit: Ideas from our readers.
I always thought this blog should be something like a place to share input from both sides, so I believe this fits here just perfect.
Ginny Barklow shared the link to the site of the organization that is fighting to ban landmines. http://www.icbl.org . Thank you, Ginny.