Once upon a time a little girl went to the Sears store in Knoxville, TN. It was a Saturday and her parents, brother, sisters and grandmother all scrambled into their station wagon. The last to climb aboard was the child carrying her book about Old MacDonald. It was her favorite story. Her siblings let her sit in the tiny compartment between the middle and rear sections of the family car, the stair was her chair and with her book on her lap, their father started the engine and off they went.
It didn’t take long to drive to the department store. Once there they ventured to the section of the store for catalog orders and pick-up. After a few minutes the excitement wore off so the little girl decided to explore the area by sitting on each of the chairs, running around the room, and swinging on the leather portion of the lane divider. She was quickly remanded because she was a bit too rambunctious. So she settled onto a small chair and opened her book to read.
The pictures in her book were of farm animals which were pretty. The old farmer was pleasant enough too. Looking up she suddenly felt a chill go down her spine. There in the sea of people standing in lines, ordering goods from sales clerks and delivery men placing boxes on the counter, she could not see any of her family. Panic overtook her and running to the middle of the room wearing a forlorn expression, her eyes filled with tears. Searching the room, her eyes like a scanner, her dread grew until finally she opened her mouth and let out a pitiful wail.
That did it … she had been left behind! She was in full voice now and people stopped to see why she was crying. Within a few seconds her mother scooped her into her arms asking her, “Are you all right?” Relieved and mumbling her fears she responded timidly, “I thought you had left without me and went home.” This was followed by fresh tears running down her tiny face. Her mother reassured her that she would never do that then hugged her tight. I was that child and I lived with the fear of being left behind for many years. I can still feel how intensely frightened I was.
Over the past few days, I have been reading up about families who have been separated by wars, earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, emergencies, deliberate separation, 9-11, tribal conflicts and being forced into modern day concentration camps and then there are the refugee camps. Designed to keep you in a tiny area with a maximum amount of other displaced people.
But what makes matters worse is that so many of these people do not know what the fate of a loved one is or where they are. I saw a photograph of a small child carrying her baby sister on her back. They did not know where their parents were, smoke was filling the air in their village, both were crying and this small girl was for all intents and purposes, the new head of their family.
Another matter I read about in the Congo is the fact that many people have not eaten for days and the workers are scared to just drop the food because some of the displaced might end up getting hurt. Who made the (executive decision) to let them starve so they wouldn’t hurt themselves fighting over food. Absurd! However they were given bars of soap. They cannot eat soap, although I have read of people eating dirt to fill their bellies, to stop the pain from starvation. This is insane!
Feed the people. All able men and women should help plant fields, grow the food and stop the nonsense that there isn’t enough to feed every person on earth. No one should starve. No one should be made to have their country or home invaded. No one should have to be separated from their loved ones, by force. Natural disasters are bad enough but that people are turning others into slaves and chattel is grotesque.
This is supposed to be a civilized world. I know because I read about it in my history books in grade school. Africa used to be a lush mysterious continent where civilization began and wild beautiful animals roamed the plains. What in the world happened? Who decided to let this occur? Why are the people of Africa turning against their own countrymen and women? Why are these atrocities allowed to happen? The big feet of our United Nations needs to step in. Stop pussyfooting about and do something.
Why cannot these refugees be united with their loved ones, allowed to earn a living and be treated with respect? Everyone deserves the minimum of food, shelter and clothing. But because we are related in our humanness we need to hear the cry of our brothers and sisters. Just the way my Mother heard my terrified cries and I had only been lost for three minutes. Imagine if you will searching for your family but not able or even allowed to find them. That is physical and mental cruelty!
Find an organization that will take your donations, buy supplies and food but also deliver said assistance to the ones who so desperately need them in order to survive. Find a reason to write a blog or your congressman or the leader of a nation where their people are being mistreated. Find a way to help, for everyone deserves to know the fate of their loved ones. Everyone!