I just watched Hotel Rwanda. Paul the hotel owner, talks with an American journalist thanking him for shooting some dangerous footage of unspeakable massacres. Now the world will see it Paul says. The world will know. Then they will help us.
The Journalist told him no lies: I think if people see this footage, they’ll say Oh, my God, that’s horrible. And then they’ll go on eating their dinners.
Over one million corpses of mothers, fathers, sons and daughters were found in Rwanda when the World decided it was time to send help. It is referred to as a “kind of a genocide.” One of the little children cried as a man with a machete approached her “Don’t hurt me, I promise I won’t be Tutsi anymore.”
I’m shaken. I taught refugee children from Bosnia, Kurdish Iraqis, Bantu Somalians, Afghanis. I remember one afghan refugee, 7 years old. Her 12 year old brother watched his father get murdered in his bed by the Taliban. They had a television. Their radio would play music that the neighbors overheard. For this, the death penalty. They took the clothes on their backs and fled to Pakistan for refuge. I remember one child told me that her mother locks herself in her bedroom and muffles screams for hours. These were the lucky children. They didn’t die. They still have one parent. They have a chance for a new beginning.
I cannot understand. I want to understand. How can a human being rationalize to themselves as they hover over a baby with a machete that what they are doing is okay? How do you kill a father in his bed knowing that his son is huddled in a corner weeping? I hate thinking of things in black and white but these people are evil and the devil owns their souls. There must be a day that they will pay for what they have done. That they will stand before someone mightier than themselves. There must be justice.
We must help. There are countless people helping, giving of themselves for no other purpose than to try and restore humanity in the world. There are so many but there needs to be more. I too will be asked, did I do enough to help the people with humanity in their hearts like me?
Every little bit helps. My mom says she does something that I am going to start. Anytime something good happens. Good report card, a promotion, a safe arrival off of an airplane or a long trip, she puts a little bit of money aside for charity. Maybe 2 dollars here, five dollars here. Once she has a sizable amount she donates it to a charity. This is something very very small. But it is something. Imagine if everyone put aside the change in their drawers every day and set aside. Could it feed one child, could it give medicine for one mother to live a little longer to care for her children.
Mahatma Gandhi said it best: You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
I look at the pictures. I see their world. I see my own.
And I can help them.