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There has got to be another way

How does killing someone else’s children solve anything?

By Neesha Meminger

A mother in Beslan was forced to choose between leaving with her infant or staying to die with both that infant and her 9-year-old daughter. She left with the infant, and her 9-year-old was found after the tragedy with a bullet in her neck.

In Canada, every elementary, middle, and high school flew their flag at half-mast to honor the memory of the innocent lives lost. Here, there are many who don’t even know that it took place.

Of course, I see my daughters. For me, sitting here, the choice is simple: we all survive, or we all perish. The thought of my child spending her final moments alone and full of terror is unbearable. Yet, this is exactly what mothers in many parts of the world are forced to endure. A choice as heinous as that of deciding which of your children lives leaves no room for anyone to judge. What would you do?

I think about Beslan every night and every day since it happened. Children's lifeless bodies carried out by their parents. Many naked, many beheaded, many without limbs. I think, what kind of heartless bastards would do such a thing? My blood turns to ice and I want someone to “get them.” I want to look the perpetrators in the eye and rage, “don’t you see we want the same thing? Don't we all want our children to grow up in a world without fear, with a home to call their own, abundant food and water? How does killing someone else’s children solve anything?”

Yet, I imagine the lifetime of desperation that it must take to commit such acts. A lifetime of witnessing scenes like Beslan, with no hope for rescue or relief. Mothers giving birth to children amidst the rubble of war and poverty. And death. This blood of ice that I feel, this nausea and dry mouth at the horror in Russia, is an everyday experience in some parts of the world.

And there are the “leaders.” Whether wielding Uzis, machine guns, or home-made bombs. Promising liberty, revolution... relief... hope. And the young people sign up. Young women too, choosing death over giving birth. What have they got to lose?

I sit here in my comfortable home, my daughters both asleep in their beds— safe for now. And, I have the privilege of being horrified by the events in Beslan. Still, I think, surely the utter disregard for precious life, the annihilation of the defenseless, must be a crime against anyone’s God...?

And somewhere in the world, this very moment, are men— leaders— planning to kill more children to advance their own agendas. In the name of profits, in the name of God, in the name of “liberty.”

I think of other mothers— Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton. Where is the vehement, screaming resistance to bombing other mothers’ homes? Other mothers’ children? And the fury, the wrath, once these orders have been given? How do they stand next to their husbands while they give the okay to protect “our way of life” as opposed to life itself?

Otherwise, I imagine most of the world's mothers are too busy nurturing and sustaining life to research how to create bombs, or develop weapons of mass destruction. I want to hold my children to my chest and keep them there; keep them from walking out into the increasing madness of this world. Yet, I don't want fear to paralyze them. I want them to fight; fight to love, fight to create. Perhaps I’m naive, but this mother wants her children to keep searching for another way. There has got to be another way

mmo : October 2004

Neesha D. Meminger is a filmmaker, writer, and Life Coach. She lives in New York City with her husband and their two girls. You can learn more about Neesha and her work on her web site, www.seeitbeit.com.

Related reading from MOMBO.org:

I Forgot by Maria Rubinstein

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy positions of the MMO or its staff.
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