Monday, October 24, 2005

The Death March - The March of Life

Yin and Yang.
Light and Dark
Good and Evil
Violence and non-violence
Matter and Anti-matter

How can the organisers of this march, however well intentioned, not realise that in order to combat dark and negative things, one has to project stronger and more powerful POSITIVE things?

How can they not realise that by promoting a DEATH MARCH that they are releasing even more negative energy, that may very well support and feed into the negativity that surrounds us?

Iin many conversations with people who supported this protest - they repeatedly told me - "it's just words". Words have power. If it was "just words" - why choose THOSE words? It's also not just bad PR. Those words came from a dark place, from somewhere that we don't want to go. It's a mindset. But what does it mean?

DEATH MARCH.

What does that phrase mean around the world? What did it mean in Sandakan, Bataan, Darfur, Ethiopia, Cambodia and other places? Death marches mean bodies at the side of the road. It means vultures feasting on children not yet dead. It means people being uprooted from life and family and home. It means starvation. It means state-sanctioned murder.

And people in Trinidad and Tobago turned out massively to participate in this. But they didn't die. They didn't starve to death. They didn't have to dig mass graves at the end of the forced death march, knowing that they were digging their own.

Why not LIFE MARCH? Why not a march to "Take Back Our Country" from the criminals, the drug mafias? Why not call it a Thousand Points of Light? Or fifteen thousand?

Ghandi knew that one cannot combat dark with dark. Martin Luther King knew this. We in Trinidad and Tobago need to learn this. We need to learn to shine light in the dark corners. We need to learn to counter evil with good. We need to understand, and only by doing this can we win. We need to know that it will not be easy. We have all been complicit in this crime wave. We need to understand and accept our own roles before we can make a real change.

And most importantly, we need to be humble. We need to place our still relatively blessed life in context in the world. We need to be unselfish.

But I do not have high hopes of that.

So many people in that march were not marching for the ideal, for the common good, but for themselves. Over and over one hears - I'm marching for my friend who died. I'm marching for my neighbour. So if your neighbour or friend hadn't died, would you care? If you didn't think - me next - would you care?

And I'm afraid that this is the truth. And I hope and pray I'm wrong. Because if I am not, we will never come out the other side of this dark maze of trial, just continue the downward spiral into more and more darkness.

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