Heroism Amidst Brutality

Author: Gary Hart

If you live long enough, sooner or later life will break your heart.  Thoughts of this bleak observation arose from watching this Sunday’s 60 Minutes story on the bombing of hospitals in Syria and the magnificent heroism of the Syrian American Medical Society’s doctors trying to save badly injured children.

Try as we might, decent human beings cannot fathom conscious, purposeful evil directed at children, the most vulnerable among us.  But even in the midst of unfathomable despair, the rare courageous individual bears that evil away and gives us a faint hope that desperate meanness cannot and will not prevail.

As we contemplate courage in the midst of overwhelming evil, we can only remember Faulkner’s beacon of light: Man will not merely endure; he will prevail.

As we struggle to understand and rise above forces of hatred, forces arising from ethnic, religious, tribal hatreds, divisions not only used to identify ourselves but to demonize the “other”, we are called upon by our common humanity and the human spirit at its best to find a way to shield the innocent, the weak, the defenseless.

Almost as appalling as the killing of the defenseless are the bitter comments on the story itself, comments based almost entirely on political divisions.  Catastrophic occasions such as the bombing of hospitals become also occasions for blaming ideological villains for the warfare itself.  The act of blaming becomes a shield against responsibility by any and all sides.

To recapture a degree of humanitarianism, the plight of children rises above partisanship, finger-pointing, and point-scoring.  Bad policy, including the policy of inaction, contributes to the acts of evil, but debate over policy rights and wrongs must not distract from the greater need, the need to shelter and protect the wounded in body and spirit.

The Syrian-American doctors must not be left to struggle alone.  Contributions will be sought and received.  Rallying words must form a front of support.  Volunteers with experience and courage are desperately necessary.  Well-intentioned governments and humanitarian agencies must insist on involvement.  Prayers may help.

Out of the despair in these hospitals may arise a redeemer or redeemers.  Out of hell on earth may arise angels of mercy and conscience.  Only that hope can possibly justify the suffering the world’s children are being made to endure.  We must each do all we can to make them also prevail.

2 Responses to “Heroism Amidst Brutality”

  1. Paul G Says:

    HOSPITAL HEROES AMID STOLEN CHILDHOOD BRUTALITY

    “If you live long enough, sooner or later life will break your heart … Try as we might, decent human beings cannot fathom conscious, purposeful evil directed at children, the most vulnerable among us … The Syrian-American doctors must not be left to struggle alone.

    Almost as appalling as the killing of the defenseless are the bitter comments on the story itself, comments based almost entirely on political divisions. Catastrophic occasions such as the bombing of hospitals become also occasions for blaming ideological villains for the warfare itself. The act of blaming becomes a shield against responsibility by any and all sides.

    Out of the despair in these hospitals may arise a redeemer or redeemers. Out of hell on earth may arise angels of mercy and conscience.”

    – Gary Hart

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izYzuG0Vh2k

    STOLEN CHILD
    by Gary’s favorite poet, Ireland’s William Butler Yeats

    “Where dips the rocky highland
    Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
    There lies a leafy island
    Where flapping herons wake
    The drowsy water rats;

    There we’ve hid our faery vats,
    Full of berries
    And of reddest stolen cherries.
    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand.

  2. Paul G Says:

    STOLEN CHILD (last four lines):

    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand.
    For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.”

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