Bless the Beasts and the Children

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By Evangeline Murillo

Tea For Two

Thursday, May 15, 2014


THIS year seems to be terrible for the young, the children, the innocent, the helpless, our fellow humans whose future is only starting to unfold, or whose future seems to have been snatched away before they could even start. Amidst the pack of humanity is Evil in human form, out to destroy, through negligence, ignorance or physical assault the young and the helpless. “Bless the beasts and the children” says one old song. Could the beasts be the evil wrongdoers, or the innocent animals of creation? And the children, yes, they are God’s creation comprising humanity’s innocent populace: those on their way to maturity, those who still play in the playground of youth, not only in their minds but in reality, the babies, the toddlers, the grade school and the high school students blossoming into adulthood. God bless these children!

Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Boko Haram terrorist group in Nigeria appeared on international TV to tell the world that Allah, or God has commanded him to kidnap the school girls in Chibok, Nigeria. He claims that Allah commanded him to put them up for sale in the most blatant human trafficking event of this generation. The parents of more than 200 school girls are in misery and fear. Many of them still hide in the bushes when nightfall comes, for fear that they or their other children may also be taken away. But most of all, they fear horribly and miserably for the lives of the innocent children snatched away from their care.

When Abubakar Shekau appeared on TV through his video, he sounded like a deranged man, laughing at the horrible act he had done, as though, it was an ordinary joke that people could dismiss at the wave of their hands. How could some people be so inhuman? Many say this act is not only political but also cultural in nature. Many analysts say that Abubakar’s act was in reaction to the school’s stubborn decision to continue educating girls. In their culture, girls should not be educated, should only serve the men and the family, stay in the background and be mothers. Only the male can have education. To give the same for girls is against their law. In some similar cultures, parents themselves sell their daughters to lift themselves from poverty.

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Many women in Nigeria and countries with similar culture have protested against this belief. They want education; they want rights for themselves as human beings too. They seek education wherever they can find it, even if it means to be in the most difficult of circumstances. Sadly, many girls have to suffer and be sacrificed before the end can be achieved.

The world changes but many evils remain unchanged. Human trafficking is one of them. In Baguio many years ago, young girls disappeared because of the same reason. Burnham Park and its vicinities were the centers of these snatches. I hope and pray that this has stopped, or are we ignorant to truths like these still hovering around? God forbid.

In another event that involves the young, the South Korean boat that sank causing the deaths of more than 200 students is another pitiful story that makes parents worldwide, weak in the limbs and in the heart. To lose children through a school outing, to find out they were given the wrong instruction to stay in their cabins when they could have jumped out of the boat, this and all connected to this very sad event make the world question the safety of trips outside the school. This is not an isolated case, but one of the most horrible involving hundreds of students. Can schools not be more safety conscious? Can children be more protected and taken care of with more love and tenderness? Baguio, we have a great responsibility towards our children. Let’s keep them safe from this social harm, from the dangers of wrong beliefs and from Evils of society in human form. “God bless the beasts and the children.”

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 16, 2014.

Opinion

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