“I picked up a gun because I wanted to fight for electricity in my village.” A 15 year old boy.
I can never forget your face. Or, your words. Spoken so innocently, with a slightly puzzled look on the face, on which the soft hairs hesitating to peek out, avoiding the sharp blade of a razor yet; committing to living on the run, under live fear with speeding bullets, and displaying a social responsibility of a level, way beyond your age.
You said that you had trusted someone who convinced you that the only way to achieve your goal was to pick up the gun and join them. Your regrets, there was no turning back.
No turning back because you were branded.
Branded as a terrorist.
I had never felt so puzzled about how to help someone in such a huge predicament, a person who was yet a child, brainwashed so simply, with noble intent, but the glamour of gun, not a razor for your first shave; overtook all your thoughts and actions and led you, in ignorance, to the most complicated struggle in today’s world.
I apologize to you since I wasn’t half as good as you at such a young age. I did not even know how to help you decades ago. The UN-even had shut down their offices in your war-torn region. That was pretty odd!
I apologize for the world we have created where irrational sense of money and power rule. A lot of changes have taken place in our world, but all the apparently amazing education isn’t helping people rethink their priorities.
I am sorry that we have gathered so much knowledge, but have unevenly prioritized land and natural resources to the extent of accepting violence as a means to justifying the human hunter-gatherer status.
Defending the cause of civilization, religion, and righteousness of ‘our way’, many of us have been aggressive in proving the man across the border wrong. I hang my head in shame before you.
I understand less than you, decades later, about this game of an Uneven balance of power, been played since a millennium by monarchs trying to win the best for their own people, own families.
I comprehend even less about how we ended up calling countries defeated in war, lost all their treasures to the invaders, as the Third World. Not giving them a chance to recover from imposed expectations, and putting them through a cycle of mass abuse, and changing the ball game of life in so many ways that the standard of comparison becomes a totally unfamiliar concept.
A strange comparison: First, Second, and Third world. The winning aggressors have tried to give back through donations to the down-trodden overseas, but I’m sorry I do not know how to explain to the world that when we give for free, we further demean the human being or race.
I hope your people and the educated, both, can come to terms with the fact that monarchy, imperialism, slavery, business houses, and uneven education cannot but merely change the greedy face of social evils that besot our Earth, our dirt, our soil, our Mother.
I want you to know that you alone are not a terrorist. We all are. We terrorize people everyday. We all have our odd aspirations for accumulating through competition, and we are terrorists in politics, in education, in business, in gender, and even in pretense. Who coined this word and to what end?
I’m devasted that drugs, guns, factory labor, advertising, and sex slavery are the mean businesses targeting children on the sly. The only hope I have is that we can redefine civilization and happiness therein. The only hope I have, is for children like you, to be saved from these narrow definitions of crime and terrorism.
Until then, I believe we aren’t raising children for the future. We have ended up only hunting and gathering criminals. To an extent of alienating masses of minor cultures who have taken on training of terrorists in protest, because we do not look beyond our own petty interests.
P.S. The author is presenting a perspective on what causal factors may have lead to or bred terrorism. Criminal activity by intent, is not suggested to be excused, but variables contributing to increase of such activity, need to be studied and eradicated. And author is of the opinion that justice system must be respected.