Thursday, July 05, 2007

Eh-hum # 176

This morning, I saw a clip that I would probably remember for the rest of my life.

A man was running, trying to dodge the bullets being fired in his direction, hitting the wall at the background instead. His right shoulder bloody, and he has wounds on his knees. Then, he falls to the ground. No, he's not dead, but he couldn't stand up. Not wanting to linger and wait for help, he uses every ounce of his energy left and starts to crawl. The clip ends there.

I cannot imagine the things going through the man's head as he was running. Fear? Terror? Anger? Yes, and perhaps more. My heart stopped when he fell, thinking that he was shot. But he sat up, and made the effort to escape. I prayed that the man is now home with his family, or at the hospital being treated. He deserves all the help he can get after what he has been through; no person deserves to be in such a situation. But as I say this, the reality is that people have died and are in constant struggle with the things happening around them.

This was a clip of the events now taking place in Isalamabad, Pakistan. As of today, 24 people have died due to the clashes between the Pakistani police/paramilitary forces and hundreds of radical students who took refuge at the Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque. Recent news say that Pakistani forces have toppled the front walls of the mosque. While 1200 students have already surrendered, Pakistani President Musharraf implores the remaining students at the mosque to give up as well, in order to prevent anymore unnecessary bloodshed.

I truly believe nothing good comes out of violence. Unfortunately, it is used as a means to achieve a goal. In some cases it works, but the stakes are much too high. This doesn't happen only in Pakistan, but the rest of the world, even here in clean and polite Japan. The Pakistani man running for his life will remind me of how much the world has been greatly disturbed by fear and hate, how misunderstandings and disagreements have escalated into violent confrontations, and how human lives have become expendable.

Granted that we abhor the use of force in dealing with problems, but what are we to do? How can we stop it when it seems to be part of human nature? This issue has become so complex that any answer would not suffice.

At this moment, all I know is that when we start a fire, we should extinguish it before it goes out of control. When we make decisions, we should prepare ourselves for the consequences.

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