#Article (Archive)

Tugs at the heartstrings

Jul 1, 2011, 11:59 AM | Article By: Adelaide Mendy

The average person spends quite a bit of time worrying and complaining or worse making excuses. Often times, it is significant beyond belief. We go on about our lives, how it is not measuring up to what we want or need it to, our jobs, probably how we were cheated out of a promotion or a traveling opportunity or how it doesn’t pay well enough, our children (if we have any) and how they just won’t listen to reason and are making it their lives mission to break every possible rule, our spouse and just how they don’t ‘understand’ us, our leaders and how they have not delivered all they promised, the weather, it being too hot or too cold and just when the rains are going to show up. The list could go on for ever with the variable countless. What did you complain about today?

Last week, I received via mail a life changing and attitude adjusting slideshow that made me pause and think, really think. It contained graphic and heartbreaking pictures of individuals in unthinkable and gut wrenching circumstances beyond their control and my belief.

One was of two men in a flooded area of Asia, wading through the neck high waters as they tried to get to their destination, whilst carrying a child in a bucket on one of their heads. Another was of two starved siblings, both skeletally thin, one carrying the other. Yet another one was of a victim of war, sprawled on the floor in despair and with the lack of hope relevant in his eyes. Every single rib in his body was protruding and he seemed at the brink of death.

Everyday all around the world, these vicious cycles are being repeated, unending. With wars raging on and more being waged, diseases that baffle the mind striking, kin turning on kin, and individuals trapped in extraneous conditions that could just as easily be averted or effects reduced with a little bit of love and affection which the world seems to be running short on.

The United Nations probably has dozens of convention that are aimed at preventing such. Yet most of these are ignored as we continue on our various quests, be it self-satisfaction or gratification, revenge, hate, greed, tyranny, etc.etc.

Just yesterday, I was watching a rerun of a documentary I had heard of a couple of weeks ago. It aired on a faith based channel. It showed the plight of the people of Congo, ravaged by endless years of war, displaced in their own country as they run for their lives. They told their tales of fear and torture and shockingly enough, despair. They narrated how they were being hunted like wildlife and when caught, slaughtered and their organs ripped out and eaten raw. It was unimaginable! Hordes of people, laying on caterpillar and bug infested bare ground, fathers, mothers, siblings, some half naked, all starved, depending on a few wild nuts. They had lost all hope and were resigned to the fact that it was not going to get better. Some of them were just ‘waiting for their time to come’.  Who will give these people their freedom? What about all the promises the international community has made and failed to deliver on? What wouldn’t they give to have our ‘lousy’ lives, huh?

The Freedom project is a program run by CNN which centers on the lives of people in bondage. Taken and enslaved against their will, forced to exist in heartbreaking condition, doing unimaginable things ranging from hard labour to being forced into the illegal sex trade with the most likely victims being children. It is impossible to watch these documentaries without being touched to tears. That human beings are capable of doing these terrible things to one another ia scary.

Often times, we try not to watch such things, brutalities. not because we do not care, but perhaps we care too much. They generate feelings that just can’t be shaken off. That’s the point. Feel, care enough and do something!

We do not need to be physically present in some of these places to make a difference. Through our united voices and support pledges, lives can be saved, hungry people fed, mother and fathers prevented from watching their children starve to death before their very own eyes, helpless to do anything. You have the power to instigate someone’s freedom or improve a life. What’s your excuse today?