Posted in Miscellany

Tears for Children

People like to blame deities for tragedy of human lives to avert their fury to the forces unseen. But most problems in the world are manmade and not entirely unresolvable. Such is the case of the children of present-day Ethiopia. They are maimed or killed by weapons of political hegemony, territorial dispute, and ideological subjective for which no gods but humans are responsible.

According to an article from the Reuters, 3,320 children have been either killed or maimed as a result of stepping into buried explosives from the civil war between Prime Minister Ably Ahmed’s government and Tigrayan forces commanded by leaders of the TPLF, the party that controls most of the Tigray region and used to run the federal government. It is this TPLF’s use of land mines that destroys the lives of the children in the region. The number above of children casualties is, in fact, only a fraction of the reality when more children are becoming guiltless victims of furious greed and evil ambition. These children are put into a deadly game of Squid Game against their will, and it is a form of violation against children. In the west, people associate child abuse with sexual exploitation by default, whereas they are more exposed to physical beatings and mental harassment. The present case of Ethiopian children’s casualty applies to physical and psychological violence because the effects are indelibly carved on their bodies and minds, changing the course of their lives. If a fifteen-year-old girl stepped onto a landmine while trying to collect water from a river, would she be liable for losing her leg for life?

When it comes to war ranging from a domestic, familial fight to a full-scale national war, the memories become traumas that become lifelong narratives, depending on a child’s degree of sensitivity. But the children’s minds are like blanket slates where they write what the eyes see, and the ears hear. All children in the world, even in the remotest touch of civilization, are innocent and to be loved with care. However, my head swivels in wonderment when people seem to care more about children based on their countenance, preferably familiar with their kinds or attractiveness. Not only do Ukrainian refugee children deserve our attention, but Ethiopian children call our attention to stop this vile violence against children of any kind. So why not campaign against it with an international movement? Would Greta Thunberg be interested in the cause? I wonder.

Posted in book review, Miscellany

the image of the war

from International Archive

When Oberon, the king of Fairyland in Shakespeare’s The Midsummer Night’s Dream, demands that queen Titania yield the human child whose mother is a votary of her order,  she remonstrates thus: “Set your heart at rest. The fairyland buys not the child of me.” The queen is adamantly protective of her human changeling for the sake of his well-being. Then I see one of the famous photos of the war children, which was taken in the wake of the Korean War, as shown above in this post. Where is their Queen Titania in her fairyland? Or more tragically, has she forsaken these little children in their own care? What would have happened to them?

The face of a doleful young girl carrying her little brother before the tank needs no assistance of words with a surge of the pathos of child refugees who were forced to grow fast in the reality of war. Wandering about their whereabouts now in mind conjures up the mental picture of Aeneas carrying his elderly father on the back, escaping from the carnage of the war behind. Both the elderly father and the younger brother are prone to any seismic events because of their weak mentality and physical strength, and therefore require special care at all times. Aeneas, the man destined to become a founder of Rome and the nameless girl, is, in fact, are brought together by the collective experience of war, bound by the familial duty that requires sacrifice.

Aeneas carrying his elderly father

Notwithstanding the official cease-fire agreement unwillingly made and entered into by and between the Two Koreas, the tension, the disbelief, and the conflict of the political, social ideologies are still in the consciousness of the North and the South, keeping the amber of the war volatile around the 38th Parallel Line. This current unfinished state of the war is arguably akin to the 10-year long Trojan War between the allied forces of ancient Greece and of Troy during which the Trojans continued to carry about living in the semblance of the ordinariness of life.  The compelling, emotive picture of the little Korean siblings attests to the atrocity of war that forfeits the innocence of childhood that every child in the world should have. It pleads in silence that we as citizens of the world should prevent a reprise of the Trojan War not only in the Korean peninsular but elsewhere in the world so that no more war children of their kind will be begotten by the tragedy of war.