I vividly remember December 16 2014; it was a morbid day – online and offline. We awoke to mourn over 140 school children and staff massacred in the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar.
What was their crime? Why school children you ask? I won’t discuss terrorism or political agendas here. You’ve all read plenty of that in the media since last year. This isn’t about a particular country, it’s about growth as human beings and about these martyrs teaching us a lesson. Let this come as a hard reminder for the youth reading this to hold on to their basic human values of compassion, courage and love, even in the midst of our fast-paced lives.
Life is unfair, and our reaction to those who treat us unfairly is to retaliate, typically. The question lies here: Are we going to act on the same hatred, vengeance and inconsideration as the attacker? Or are we going to do something different?
On December 16th, where one group of men chose revenge, the APS martyrs ranging from eight to eighteen years taught us that courage does not come with age, it comes from the heart.
You must be wondering why I keep referring to these children not as victims, but as ‘martyrs’. It’s because these children put their lives after their friends’ – they stood up for students younger to them and faced men twice their size with unflinching courage.
So let these children be a reminder – to be like the martyr, not the attacker. The next time someone crosses you, take a stand for fairness. How many times in a week do we face our ‘first-world problems’ and feel ‘depressed’, helpless or dejected?
It takes courage to go to grounds that aches for the laughter of your friends, sit in a classroom without a familiar face beside you. The surviving heroes of APS went back to their school after the massacre.
Life goes on, folks and nothing should hold you back from charging forward, fighting fair and embodying the values of compassion, courage and love in our actions – be it as small as letting a grudge with a friend go, or facing something you fear/avoid.
Let’s remember the innocent lost souls who left us on December 16, and let’s hope that such a morbid day does not come to any nation in the world again.