Reflections | Sunday Observer


I stare at my reflection in the mirror. I see a young girl, her face twisted into an expression of worry after listening to the news on radio. I see her face turn into one of sadness when she thinks of how many girls and boys her age and younger, lost their lives at church that Easter morning. I see her sadness morph into one of disgust as she thinks of what sort of people could be capable of such actions. I see her shake her head at how corrupt the world we call our home, has become.

Through these eyes, I see my appearance gradually change. My face becomes wrinkled and gray streaks colour my hair. Through my blurry vision, I see an old version of myself. I have already survived a thirty-year-long war. I can feel grief weighing me down like a lead ball in the pit of my stomach. I feel as if my country is on my shoulders; that I could have done more to help, to promote peace and equality. To put an end to all the tragedies we’ve had to face. Then eventually, we had a golden decade, which was taken for granted by many. Will I have to face a second war during my lifetime?

I shut my eyes and open them again. There I see a little girl look back at me. Her short hair is in pigtails and she is giving me a gap-toothed smile. This little girl does not understand what has happened. She has been told that her father has gone on a long business trip and is not coming back, so that is what she believes. She is upset for missing so much school and misses her friends. She has gotten used to a teacher checking her bag everyday, although she does not know what is being looked for. She knows that there’s a difference in her life, her mother doesn’t smile anymore and every now and then relatives come to cry with her.

We deserve better. We all deserve better. We must do better for that is what our country deserves. Parents are afraid to send their children to school, or anywhere else for the fear of a terrorist organisation. It is hard on the parents; after three churches were bombed on a very special day for Christians. We can see the lengths the people behind the bombings were willing to go. A once happy festival was suddenly turned into one of loss and mourning.

Family members rushed to supermarkets to store up food, all the while calling the rest of their relatives to see if they were okay. Messages were sent to friends on every platform of social media, up until it was banned and contact was shut off. The country held its breath and waited, too scared to let it out. Fear wrapped the country up in her fist; hatred burned brighter than any flame.

There is one thing that I believe, should be understood. Hate can only be born from hate. According to Newton’s Third Law of Physics; for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If you give hate to others, hate is likely to strike back at you as well. Hatred does not solve any problem at all; just lengthens it and lengthens it until it is caught in a never-ending cycle, religion at its centre.

I was amazed to see how many came together at this horrible event. How bravely our policemen and soldiers stood to defend our country. How different races refused to let what was going on tear them apart and helped each other, especially the youth. The younger generation still has hope; all we need is a future.

The actions of a certain group of people, does not define their whole community. The organisation behind the attacks does not believe in any religion. The innocent people who are scared to go out into the streets in the fear of being harassed for what they wear are the true victims. So many people are suffering because of the cruel actions of a small group of people and I would do anything to change it.

I look forward to a future in which I can stand up and make a difference. I do not want our lives to be led by fear, but to live in the freedom we once knew. I truly love my country and know that there are many others out there who do too. We must learn from our mistakes and do what we can to make sure that they are not repeated. We cannot be consumed by hate and fear, but strive to achieve peace. Strive for a better tomorrow.

I believe that we should fight for the things that are worth. I know that this country is worth it. That is why I will fight. For after all, your religion does not define you; it is your behaviour that does. I believe in what Martin Luther King Jr. once said; “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”