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Brutality

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The innocent Chinese children are silently crying to God, to their parents, to anyone that was listening. They have been taken away from their parents, sweating in the cold sweat of dread, finding themselves pushed onto their knees, awaiting their cruel and heartless slaughter. There is no place to run, and no place to hide. There are grown men who are standing next to them, guns loaded. The Japanese have invaded the hometown of these children, and they have no use of them. There is a crowd gathered, simple village people, bystanders, who come to watch this monstrosity, helpless. A single child cries louder than the others- he is weeping for the loss of his father, the man that the soldiers shot mercilessly before dragging his child away. The other children stare at the boy with blank eyes and numb feelings of fright. On the command of his superior, a soldier fires his gun at the sobbing boy. There is a crack, and the crying stops abruptly. The boy falls to the ground, lifeless. The children are quiet now, waiting for the moment to come, holding on to their last thoughts. There is a click of a gun and on-by-one the kneeling children are blown up in the straight line without mercy. Life-blood splatters in the street. There is silence. The villagers turn their faces away, but don't say anything. The murders, the uniformed soldiers, turn away and leave the bodies in the filthy street.

I watch this on the T.V. screen with disbelieving shock on my face, too stunned to speak. Of course, I am not one of the villagers, nor the children, nor the assassins. I am nothing but a ghostly voice, a silent weeper, another innocent watcher. I felt lucky to have an extremely better fate than those children. Truthfully, I felt guilty. The worst part? This massacre was once real. This was history. The puddles of the blood might have looked fake, but the message that was sent through the screen was terrifyingly real.

How could this be real? Could anyone be heartless enough to slaughter innocent children who are sobbing with their horrendous fate? The answer is yes. This is not the only time, there are many others. The Nazis exterminating millions of Jews, the Americans bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the killing of Vietnamese civilians in the Hue Massacre are only a few. There are countless others, small ones that we lose memory of over time, and bigger ones that we keep in the back of our minds.

How can we be proud of our achievements when our past is littered with terrible actions? We, the people of the modern world, sometimes consider ourselves civilized and high above inhumane acts. Yet, we still use guns and weapons to kill other people. We keep these fictitious thoughts in our minds, blocking out the reality.

But if we are far more advanced and civilized than before, why then, is the news still filled with horrifying stories of murder, suicide, war, and kidnap? Recently, I was horrified to know that NATO conducted an airstrike upon the home of Al-Gaddafi, the current leader of Libya. The colonel himself was unharmed despite their attempts. But, his youngest son, only 29 years old, and his very young grandchildren were all killed. Their innocent deaths are the sad result of the too-common human struggles for political power. How can we point the finger of blame at foreigners when our own countries have killed innocents themselves?

If people had stood up for others instead of turning their heads away and blocking the moment from their minds, then perhaps innocent lives could be spared. If the villagers had stood up against the few Japanese soldiers, then perhaps not as many Chinese children would have perished. If the German people had stood up as a whole against Hitler and the Nazis, instead of turning their faces, then perhaps many Jewish people would have been saved. Likewise, if the bystanders stood up against the bully, then perhaps the bullied would be let go.

Some people may argue that there will always be violence as long as intelligent beings are around. They claim that violence comes from self-image, greed, and jealousy, things that are only human to possess. Can we conquer our sins? A simple way to do this is to slowly eradicate the undesirable qualities in the human race. As Atticus Finch, a character from Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird said, “From now it'll be everybody less one.” Mr. Finch means that the world could change with the actions of each person, even if it was one person at a time. Furthermore, we are able to speak to the world and change minds with voice and reasoning. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a famous civil rights activist, is an example of this. Dr. King's words were able to move people and they still inspire people today. He fought with his words rather than violence and eventually found success for his efforts. We cannot continue fighting evil with evil. If we are the intelligent beings that we claim to be, then we should find no problems in accepting reason.

Therefore, violence in the world can be eradicated if people take small steps to change the way they live. We of this modern society cannot convince ourselves with the false notion that we are advanced if we continue to take innocent people's lives. So, take a small step everyday and create the mannered, perfect human being that we strive to be. Use words instead of guns and stand up for what you believe in. We can all change the world one step at a time, anytime, and if we do, innocent lives might be spared. Be the defenders, not the victims.




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hpfanatic said...
Aug. 13, 2011 at 6:59 pm:
WOW, Oregano. WOW.
 
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