Today, the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers are holding a candlelight commemoration for the innocent children killed in the Afghanistan war. They will carry that compassion on and connect with other youth from around the world on the “Global Day of Listening” which is held on the first day of Spring.
Today, I stand with them in commemoration and grieving of the children killed in the Afghan War. So, I have lit a candle. Admittedly, it is a small thing, but it matters. You see it is a constant reminder of the atrocities of war. It is a constant reminder that the The War Machine doesn't care about life, it only cares about power. It is a constant reminder that I was too silent when the U.S. was considering war. I was not silent. I was simply too silent. So the candle matters – it reminds me.
I hope you will consider lighting a candle today as well. Why? Because it matters. Why? Because it is a reminder. Why? Because you were too silent as well.
For me, today is not enough. You see, children are dying around the war because of war and because people are rightfully standing up in places like Libya, Syria, Yemen, Palestine and others where they are being mistreated. Children and adults are dying everyday – bloody and brutal. So, for me, today is not enough. I am setting a candle on my desk at work and I will light it every day to remind me. It will remind me that people are dying needlessly every day. It will remind me that it is not only the War Machine that doesn't care about life, it is all those who value possessions and money over life. Every day people die of starvation in a world where there is more than enough food. Every day people die from a lack of clean water when we have the technology and resources to provide it for most people. Every day people die from curable diseases because it would be too expensive or inconvenient to save their lives. So, I will light a candle everyday as a reminder that I have been too silent. So the candle matters – it reminds me.
I hope you will consider lighting a candle everyday as well. Why? Because it matters. Why? Because it is a reminder. Why? Because you were too silent as well.
The candle is a small thing, some will argue it is insignificant and just barely better than doing nothing – but it matters. When people ask me (when people ask you?), why there is a candle burning on my desk I can say, “Because I have been too silent about the children who die because of war. I have been to complacent about the innocent people who are dying every day in the name of money and power. It reminds me to use my voice, to stand up for those whose voices are being snuffed out with rifle fire, silenced by the lack of food, drowned out by a lack of clean water. I hope you will consider lighting a candle everyday as well – because it matters.