Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Collective Pain

     Motherhood has a way of connecting people from various cultures and various communities in collective joy and even in collective pain.

      I love reading letters and posts from family members and friends about  milestones in their personal and family life. I treasure the pictures of my nieces and nephew as they were growing up. I happily share pictures and stories about my children too. I appreciate the photo sharing feature in social media sites because it makes connecting with the people you care about easier. 
     It is sometimes in social media that I learn  about distressing news  happening to children and families in places so far from home. It is here where I first read that family members of a B'laan tribal leader in Davao del Sur were killed with only the youngest daughter surviving the massacre. The tribal leader opposed the entry of a mining firm in the B'laan tribe ancestral domain.

     What happened  in Davao a few weeks ago is not an isolated case. I was able to talk to a children rights advocate who related the story of another kid they counseled who was likewise the sole survivor of a massacre to her entire family. She  was able to tell her entire story  after so many months. 

  Meanwhile, in far-away Gaza peninsula, families are cowering in fear over air strikes and bombs which target their homes. Innocent civilians, the elderly, mothers, children have been maimed or killed. I am pained by the images of parents holding the bodies of their dead children, of mothers losing their homes and their families. How soon shall these killings stop? How many more lives must be sacrificed before a ceasefire or cessation of hostilities shall be ordered?

     As a mother, I pray that compassion may reign in their hearts, for the inhumane killings of innocent civilians to stop and that survivors of human rights violations be given justice. 

   "Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and  the wounded. It's a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”
                                                                  -Pema Chodron

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