Human lives matter…


If you are as disheartened as I am, you definitely understand the tornado of feelings in my mind. Is it disappointment? Is it sadness? Shock? Frustration? Anger? Maybe all of them at once.

Depending on my personal experiences, I can easily say that the picture of our country from a far is very different than the one we are living in. I always believed that this country is a safe haven for many of us. Human rights, freedom of speech,  freedom of expression and so on so forth. Melting pot, a place where people from around the world live together. Families, friends, neighbors, co-workers… how rich and how wonderful!

Well… lately I am having difficulty to comprehend the reality. Reality that is so uncomfortable, annoying, upsetting and unsettling. On TV, in newspapers, social media and on the street there is this picture of fear, anxiety and worry with all the “what if? how? why? really?” We all have different opinions as to why people have become so violent, cruel, uncaring, hurtful, and self centered. What I am trying to understand is “when” did this happen?

A child remarked at the news as they were showing the horrific things that were happening in Virginia last weekend: ” I thought this was happening in the very very old days. Like… REALLY old days!” ” These people may need to go to the doctor. They may be ill and that is why they are hurting people around them.” I took the opportunity to talk about the things we must do. It was a short list but it was a thoughtful conversation.

  • Respect every human being.
  • Explain your point of view without disrespecting theirs.
  • Do not respond hurtful acts with hurtful acts. Two wrongs do not make a right.
  • We all are different. Accept differences and learn to work with them.
  • Your freedom ends when the other person’s freedom starts.
  • You do not have the right to hurt another being just because you disagree with him or her. Speak! This separates humans from other living things. We can think and communicate.
  • Your goodness is in your heart and your mind. You are judged by your actions, not by the color of your skin, the language you speak, the religion you practice, your gender or the way you look on the outside. If you are, speak up.
  • Ignorance does not help anyone.
  • Human lives matter.

Children have rights and we have to protect them!

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A two-year old child was hung at a day care center. 9-year-old girl is being forced to marry her rapist. Three year old boy is considered “not normal” by his teacher because he draws purple trees. Four year old girl is getting a red card in her second week of being in pre-K because she cannot sit still in the classroom.

We can see many of these on the news, on social media and in our daily conversations with colleagues, friends and relatives. Some situations are more severe than the others of course but in the end they all are hurting our children. Are we doing enough to protect them? Are we doing anything at all to be e remedy for some and to get rid of others for good? Maybe…

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I question adults who are supposed to be informed, aware and educated in these matters. I also question the adults who are in leadership positions overseeing these individuals exposing our children to such sad situations. Law makers, principles, parents… Do you take an action and stand up for these children’s rights when you see everything happening in front of your eyes or do you let it go? In some cases, do you allow it to happen?

One cannot drive before they are 16 or 18. Yet, they can be forced to a marriage while they have a long life in front of them. A life for them to figure out who they are, what they like and what they want to do in life. Their life can be ended by a delusional person who cannot control herself or who feels good after her sadistic act. They can be stressed out, crushed and pushed away with a label because of a teacher who is not capable of teaching and understanding basics of human development and psychology.

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It takes all of us to speak up for our children. To speak up and to encourage them to stand up for themselves. We need to have the tools and give them what they need to do so. I hear many people saying that they do not have the tools or the resources. Then I learn that the same people never even asked the question: Do you know anyone who can help me? Are there any self help books to give me ideas about the ways I can approach this problem or challenge?

Sharing is caring. Advocating is caring. Collaborating and fighting for the cause is caring. We need to start caring about children and stop acting like we are helpless or we do not know what to do. We have power as long as we are together. It all starts with a single step, a phone call, a meeting, a question. Don’t be afraid.

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When I was in elementary school, my best friend and I heard about UNICEF. We used to support the cause knowing that there are children around the world who were not able to meet their basic needs such as clean water, food, clothing, education ,and medical treatment. There are children who are being abused and raped by the adults they need to be protected by. We didn’t have jobs or any other income to make big donations but we were thoughtful. We started purchasing greeting cards that had UNICEF trademark/logo on them. We chose to do so because the proceeds were going to children from all over the world in different ways. We wanted to help break the cycle of poverty and inequity.

I was impressed and excited when I saw that my son’s school is ofering UNICEF club as an option in extended day program. When he asked me what it is I said “This is the moment”. He is an empathetic child and what can be better than him being involved in this club I thought. He came home the next day and said he was the only boy in the club. In fact, some of his friends tried to change his mind saying it would be “no fun” to be in UNICEF club. He did not care.

With his permission, I am sharing the poem my son wrote:

                          We should give clothing, water, shelter and love to the poor

                          Because shelter is for you to survive winter and rainy days

                          Food and water are essential to survive

                          Clothes are so you are not cold on cold days and hot on very hot days

                          Love, because people or kids that are poor should not be gloomy or sad.

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