We Are All At The Bottom of A Well-In memory of Rayan and challenge to our better natures


Viewing the sky from the bottom of the initiation well at Quinta da Regaleira; Source- Wikipedia Commons

I was one of the hundreds of thousands, and perhaps millions of people, from kings to peasants who watched and waited to learn the fate of Rayan the 5 year old Moroccan Boy who was trapped at the bottom of a 100 foot well.  So sadly, the heroic efforts of the many response and rescue teams, who spared on effort were not enough to save his life.

For four days world attention was focused on a small well, in a village in Morocco… united, first in hope and then in grief for this one precious child.

I’ve used those two phrases consciously, phrases repeated in  diverse media outlets, “sparing no effort” and “united in grief.”

While this drama unfolded, eyes and hearts focused on Raylan, around the world, children continued to suffer and die in unspeakable numbers, from famine, war, trafficking, abuse and neglect.

While the rescuers used their ingenuity and resolve to find a way to rescue Rayan, scientists went to work everyday, looking to invent even more lethal ways to exterminate their fellow humans. Terrorists used children as human shields.  Politicians cynically manipulated and amplified fear and hatred. And less we count the complicit without counting ourselves, every day we nurse our own small angers, jealousies, affronts, and grudges…taken together which truly add up to weapons of mass destruction

As present political divisions  environmental catastrophes accelerate and the harbingers of planetary disasters to come become increasingly difficult to ignore, we rightfully feel dread for our children and grand children.  But as a people, as a nation, as a world under threat, where is the collective action that spares no effort and unites us to move from dread and grief to action?

People!  We are all together at the bottom of a well together. Isn’t it time to stop digging it deeper?  Isn’t it time that we demand individually and collectively something better of ourselves?  Or will we let our own better natures become numb and paralyzed bystanders to unspeakable preventable suffering to come?

The boy in Morocco had a name.  _____We gave him our prayers, our hopes, and spared no effort to save him

Every child who suffers,  neglected, abused, killed, has a name.  Every child yet to be born will have a name.

Here are the closing lines of poet Carl Sandburg’s poem Timesweep.

There is only one horse on the earth

and his name is All Horses.

There is only one bird in the air 

and his name is All Wings.

There is only one fish in the sea

and his name is All Fins.

There is one one man in the world

and his name is All men.

There is only one woman in the world

and her name is All Women.

There is only on Child in the world

and the child’s name is All Children.

There is only on Maker in the world

And his children cover the earth

And they are named All God’s Children.

Rest in Peace Rayan, may your name and memory be a blessing to us all.

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