"Love is a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, but it is the only answer."--Dorothy Day


A Long Way Gone.

I've been reading a book called A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. It's about a boy who was a child soldier in Sierra Leone. It is terrifying. In an address to the UN, the boy, Ishmael, says "It was not easy being a soldier, but we just had to do it. I have been rehabilitated now, so don't be afraid of me. I am not a soldier anymore; I am a child." I can't imagine such a life, but know that it happens all over the world, even in the United States.

I have a friend here in New York, who has lived here his whole life, and grew up in the neighborhood where I used to live before gentrification made it safe. He told me stories about being attacked and robbed by older kids. About having to drop out of school because he was not safe there. About playing a game with his little brother, where they walked down the street counting all the crack vials.

I read and hear these things and I am shaken. I am fairly certain that I would not have had the will to survive in such a world. I want to know when it will end, and why atrocities such as this continue to occur when the world has the means to stop it.