Brown Eyed Beauty

Above the photograph of a beautiful Sudanese child on the front page of yesterday’s State newspaper are the words “Tragedy deepens.” Her brown eyes look at the camera with a tentative look not unlike the one I’ve seen on Brooke’s little face when she’s trying to figure something out.  Brooke is one of my precious granddaughters.

Both little girls are around two years old, but that’s where the similarity of their lives ends. Brooke has blue eyes, lives in America in a home with her parents and sister and brother, and has never even heard a gun being fired. She has food, shelter, and enough cute little Old Navy outfits to change her look for days. The child in the newspaper lives in a makeshift refugee camp set up by villagers forced from their homes because of ethnic violence raging in Darfur. She doesn’t appear to be wearing any clothes, much less the cute little color coordinated ones that hang in Brooke’s closet. She’ll be lucky to have something to eat tonight while Brooke’s mom is serving spaghetti. For half a second I wonder if she has baby shampoo, gentle soap, and warm water like Brooke has.

All that to say that the children in Darfur are breaking my heart. I remember once asking my parents what they thought about the Holocaust as it going on in Europe decades ago, and my mother said they really didn’t know much about it. They’d hear rumors from time to time, but the world was a different place then, and communication was slow.

What’s my excuse…and yours? Communication is amazingly fast. We know things as soon as they happen, and we all know about the genocide that is taking place in the Sudan where more than 400,000 people have been killed. Raping, murdering, and pillaging are common occurrences, and it’s reported that in the refugee camps of Chad women risk rape simply by foraging for firewood.  

Can anything be done to stop the madness? There’s to be a rally on the SC State House grounds at 2:00 this Saturday. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the horrors that are occurring at this very moment in Darfur. .For more information, go to www.dagsc.org.  The child on the front page of yesterday’s state is as innocent and deserving as my little granddaughter…and yours.

Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

9 thoughts on “Brown Eyed Beauty”

  1. I know. I read about it in the paper and wrote about it in the blog. I’d REALLY love to go, but we’ve been planning a trip to MB for months, and since it involves other people, we can’t back out. Are you going? If so, will you give me all the information afterwards?

  2. Thanks for visiting my site and for commenting on this particular post. Not to go overboard about this topic, but one of the short pieces in today’s newspaper was by a person who said he had nine pictures of these children and that he thought of them as nine Anne Franks, “children completely innocent, who are forced to suffer nonetheless.” That really put a different spin on the situation for me and helped me to see the gravity of what’s going on.

  3. There was a documentary on PBS a while back made by a group that’s over there, rotating shifts, so to speak. It’s horrendous and I always wonder, “How can anyone do these things?” As you say, we can’t even imagine.

    This link leads to the PBS site with a breakdown of the “key players” and lots of other info on their site. It’s the best I’ve found for explanations…

    http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/sudan/relationshipsa.html

    God help us help them!

  4. As i was reading your post, an e-mail that Cow Gal sent to me today came to mind. I was once asked the question by a firefighter/paramedic what my plans were for the medical field and life. I mentioned to him that I was interested in Emergency Medicine and that i was going on a mission. I kinda laughed at me and told me that in this type of field you can’t keep your faith because you see such terrible suffering, especiall of the little children. At the time, I couldn’t think go a very good answer, i’ve never been a very good orator, but this e-mail covered the topic rather well, i thought… It’s called, My Confession…
    The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.
    My confession:
    I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are: Christmas trees.

    It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

    I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

    Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren’t allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to.

    In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

    Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’

    In light of recent events…terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

    Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said OK.

    Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
    Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

    Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

    Are you laughing?

    Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.
    Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
    Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it… no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in. My Best Regards.
    Honestly and respectfully,

    Ben Stein

  5. Yes…

    If you take the time to look, to pay attention, you realize that there is no difference between the people being killed and starved in another country, and the people around you, the people you love.

    Maybe that’s why people don’t look too often… it’s too much pain and burden of responsbility.

    Not a good excuse… but a likely reason, I think.

  6. Thanks for both of your comments. The Ben Stein letter really made me think; I especially like Billy Graham’s daughter’s response to the interviewer’s question. What I think about a lot is how people rant and rave about how God could allow tragedies and misfortunes to occur, but they don’t thank Him for all the good stuff.

    Nosurfgirl, I think you “hit the nail on the head.” We all have the same Creator and are literally brothers and sisters regardless of the color of our skin, the size of our pocketbooks, our country of origin, our family’s prestige, our occupations, and so forth.

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