By Navin Chandran (ME113)
For some reason I’ve been thinking a lot lately about children. Not about having them or anything of the sort, but more about their significance. Their place in the world that seems to go unnoticed and unappreciated by anyone and everyone.
We’re always searching for new opportunities. New chances to start over, put the broken shards of our life back together and hopefully leave the shadows of our past behind us for good. And yet every single time that precious chance displays itself, we come along and we mess it all up. I can’t fathom how long it’s been, how many generations have been raised and lost, how many lives and how much time have been wasted as we set ourselves into this vicious cycle over and over and over again.
We’re always searching for new opportunities. New chances to start over, put the broken shards of our life back together and hopefully leave the shadows of our past behind us for good.
Children represent the very best and the very worst of humanity. They represent the unassuming youth we’re born with and lose along the way to the great chain of industry and progress. They represent the pristine, unspoiled nature we’re blessed with and at the same time the very depths of depravity to which we have to be exposed to crack and damage that porcelain mould.
Children aren’t born prejudiced, or hateful, or despicable. They aren’t born thinking “he’s black” or “she’s a Jew”. They aren’t born with sickles and daggers in their hands, ready to stab and hurt everything in sight. They’re moulded. We take them, and instead of creating a portrait of beauty and perfection we shape them after ourselves, into a swirling torrent of hatred and despair.
When I think about the Stolen Generations, Columbine, Sandy Hook, I can’t understand why we put children through the horrors our soldiers and freedom fighters are already facing. That’s why they do what they do, isn’t it? So we don’t have to. So we can sit safely in our houses, enjoying the life we’ve earned and gotten accustomed to, and raise our children to appreciate that and work for a better future. How are we to give them that future if we kill them ourselves day after day?
Why do we put our children through horrors they’ll never recover from? Why do we keep them locked up, terrorise them, rape them, shoot them, blow them up? Why do we damage them, give them no horizon to look forward to? Life makes us all jaded, eventually.
Why do we put our children through horrors they’ll never recover from?
Eventually we’re swallowed up and spat out onto the cold concrete floor; forced to pull ourselves to our feet by our bootstraps and stumble forward. Why do we have to make it harder for the innocents, for those who look out at the world with wide eyes and a mind hungry for knowledge? For those who ask a hundred questions a day and want nothing more than to understand the world they see and feel, so different from the warm, comfortable womb they were so cozy in.
Why can we not afford them the very best we and life has to offer, before they discover for themselves it’s not all it’s made out to be? Why do we chip at them, whittle them down before they’re even fully formed? How long will it take before we learn and realise that children are our true once in a lifetime chance, and that they are truly the coin we can only spend once?
Navin Chandran (ME113)
Navin sees the world not in black and white, but in furrowed shades of grey. He spends his time riding the dusky isles like a ship in a maelstrom, trying to find order in the madness and slowly learning that chaos is part of organising one’s universe.