When I was little, my grandparents, mom, uncles and aunts used to tell me stories of their childhood and life in Sri Lanka. My mom told me stories of her days climbing trees, eating fresh fruits off tree and running track for her school. One of her brothers told me about his days woeing girls with his charm and looks. My Patta (grandfather), told me about his days as police chief; going through the jungle looking for rebels but found a monkey and kept him as a pet. And I remember another uncle telling me how he watched man get burned alive right in front of him for being a Tamil. I remember my amamma (grandma), telling me that she had to get my mom to the neighbours house and they both watched as the army burned their house down.
The civil war in Sri Lanka forced a lot of Tamils such as my mom and her family to immigrate to several different western countries; Canada England, Australia. Yet, no matter how far you go, the terrors of war will always follow you. My family was fortunate enough that they were out of the country before the conflicts go worst. But most people around the world aren’t fortunate enough.
Over a billion people all around the world are impacted by civil conflicts, terror, discrimination, and war. Death, illness, poverty hunger, and fear surrounds their lives. Pictures of war, dying and hungry children, blood, and death have been plastered on media outlets including movies, videos games and music videos. However, I think people have become desensitized from these images, articles, and reports. We care too much of our own daily struggles that we forget that people around the world are dying from these traumatic conflicts.
Just because it isn’t happening here doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. What if the roles were switched? Wouldn’t you want someone to care, to fight for your freedom, to make it all go away so you could live peacefully? No one deserve to live in fear. No one should live in fear.
I urge you to watch the following video from Save the Children entitled “Most Shocking Second a day video”. I urge you to open your eyes and ears and understand that, that little girl could be your sister, mom, daughter, friend, wife, lover or even you. No one will ever understand the extent of what these children face in Syria and all over the world. But the video will make you reflect.
Reflect on your choices, and be grateful for the freedoms, rights and security that you have been granted. Be grateful that you are allowed to have a voice and are not living in fear. I urge you to take a stand and pursue your governmental officials to intervene, to save the children and the vulnerable.