Who Could Do This?

Who can kill a child? What sort of mind can look past the deep eyes, the laughter, the simple love, the tears and put a bullet into a head, a knife across the throat?

The past few days, there were a few photographs being shared on social media platforms about missing children. Despite the barrage of useless posts on these sites, this is one post that I do share, regardless of the number of people who might see it. Regardless of the little voice inside me that says that these children might never be found. It is hard to scroll past the smiling faces and dimpled cheeks.

Children are valued in ALL cultures, regardless of how barbarian the rest of the traditions might be. They represent the possibilities of the future. They represent all that is good in the world, which is diminishing by the minute.

You do not need to be a parent to know that a child’s smile can make you smile. It could be when you are stuck in crazy traffic, cursing and swearing. You see that little face popping up in the rear window of a car, probably smeared with chocolate making silly faces at you. And you cannot help but smile.

Politically, the slaughter of children always grabs the headline, no matter how jaded the society is. The slaughter of hope has been done in so many forms that nothing else might get the same kind of attention.

But it makes me wonder how do you get your hands to commit murder of a child, whatever might be your cause. We read about it everyday… in small doses… parents who kill their own children… And perhaps you can convince yourself that some of these were acts of desperation… a jerk of a hand before you could control it… But how many times can you look past this? How many times can you convince yourself that these monsters do not exist in our society?

We ignore the abuse… even as we talk about it on social media and about how horrendous it is. But have you ever tried to imagine the pain, the confusion that the little child faces?

All the study of psychology and whatever else, I still cannot understand how one can do that to a child. What kind of person can convince themselves to pull the trigger? Not once. Not twice. A hundred and thirty two times. Aim at that little forehead, covered by silky hair, shiny and smelling sweet from the shampoo mommy did in the morning. Studiously ignore that two little eyes that are questioning you, filled with fear… perhaps they were filled with laughter a few minutes ago as they sniggered at something their teacher said. Block your senses of the smell that is no innately a child.

What possible religion allows such an act? What possible belief leads people to think that this will assure them a place in heaven? That they are fighting for a cause? Who made these people? Where did they come from? Have they seen no children? Do they have no children? Is it the same perversion that forces some to push themselves on children to fulfill their sexual need? Is it power? Is it authority? What is it? What could possibly be the answer for such abhorring decadence.

The questions come back to haunt me each time I read about a horrific act on a child. The mind shies away from graphically imagining the little snippets of news that pass your way.

Were we always a barbaric society, who wore the veneer of civilization for a short while? Were we always the raiders and looters?

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