The Children of War.

stop the war

They aren’t our children. We separate in order to draw a line—to disavow ourselves from the suffering of others. It allows us to continue with our own lives while being completely unaffected by the agony of their lives.

 

By Ty H. Phillips

It happens time and time again.

I log onto Facebook only to be greeted with videos or pictures of abused, mutilated, and suffering children; to say I am affected is an understatement. To say I am crushed and left reeling is more than obvious.

The tears of the children leave me angry, hateful and devoid of hope for our world. I see the cognitive dissonance of millions as they claim liberalism, yet ignore the plight of children all over the world or think the best solution is destabilizing their government or by sending care packages of drones and bombs.

“It’s just collateral damage.”

No, they are children.

Now while there are many true progressives out there, we don’t seem to be making a dent. 25,000 children five years old and under die every single day from neglect, war, famine and disease. Think about that. In the time I write this sentence, hundreds of children—children who never asked to be born—will die in terrible agony (but Jesus has a plan).

We elect officials because because of party ties and neglect their history of war hawking and political destabilization. We ignore their ties to known genocidal figures because, well, they belong to the party we support. They must be the lesser of two evils, all the while ignoring that the liberals of 15 years ago would be appalled by what we call liberal today. Democrats are just the new Republicans and no, being liberal does not make you a progressive—your policies and actions do.

The moment we tie ourselves down to partisan politics, voting and supporting party only for the sake of party, we admit and partake in criminality. We no longer have the right to claim ethical or moral stances.

How do we go about changing the world? Can we?

We all know, or should, that Facebook activism is all but useless as is claiming to be an activist while supporting the very culture that allows things like these to thrive (Kardashians, Trumps, Crony Capitalism, Dance Moms, The Real World, and the list goes on and on).

We are the Roman mob appeased by entertainment, oblivious to the fact that the world around us is dying, that diseases new and old are spreading, that corporations direct politics and government, that we’ve turned Huxley’s Brave New World and Orwell’s 1984 into a blueprint for American Culture. And through it all, children are dying, crying, suffering and yet we act like it doesn’t matter.

They aren’t our children. We separate in order to draw a line—to disavow ourselves from the suffering of others. It allows us to continue with our own lives while being completely unaffected by the agony of their lives. We blame the parents, and that may be accurate, but do nothing to help the child.

Blame has never solved a problem—action has.

We can change ourselves but is that too hard? Pointing out the flaws in others is easier but it doesn’t create change. Changing ourselves is a step we can take but will it spread? We get some peace of mind but do the tears of others stop flowing?

The truth is, I don’t have an answer and all the white light, mindful thinking platitudes in the world aren’t going to bring back the dead children of grieving parents, or the limbs of screaming children.

Has history every shown a real change in violence on a wide scale? Is it like the tide, coming in and going out? So we change ourselves? What then?

That separation we create, not ours, is where the crack begins.

 
 

 
 

Photo: (source)

Editor: Dana Gornall

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Ty Phillips

Ty Phillips is the co-founder and director of The Tattooed Buddha. A former big city bouncer, now pacifist Buddhist minister, and writer he spends his time counseling youth and hard to reach adults in peaceful and engaged means. Using his past as an example, he is able to engage those who would otherwise probably not seek out and relate to dharma teachers. Ty is a contributing author for The Good Men Project, Rebelle, BeliefNet, Patheos and The Petoskey News. He is a long term Buddhist and a lineage holder, as well as a father to three amazing girls and a tiny dog named Fuzz. You can see his writing at The Good Men Project, BeliefNet, Rebelle Society.

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