Peshawar School Shooting

By Ben Berry

indian schoolchildren pray during morning assembly at their school in shimla as they pay tribute to slain pakistani schoolchildren and staff after an attack on an army school in the restive city of peshawar.  PICTURE: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

indian schoolchildren pray during morning assembly at their school in shimla as they pay tribute to slain pakistani schoolchildren and staff after an attack on an army school in the restive city of peshawar.  PICTURE: AFP/GETTY IMAGES


Yesterday, December 16th, 141 people were shot to death at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan. There were seven gunmen. 132 of those killed were children. 

Words fall short when faced with such a sheer face of tragedy; they turn cold and lap mournfully back, a defeated tide, and the event alone stands, unfortunate and bitter. 

Such actions shouldn't exist, and yet they do. They are irrevocable depressions in the fabric of humanity, tender pools of blood. And it is from this sad well that we must drink from today. 

We need to open our hearts to this knot of sorrow that is, at this very moment, tying up the lives of hundreds of thousands in Pakistan. These aberrations affect us; the hearts of those killed and of those left alive are our hearts, too. We need to mourn with the world, for it is our children that have been killed, and it is our insanity that has killed them. We need to feel, because this cannot go unfelt. We need to feel this because we are alive, and we are with them, and they need us. 

Please, take one minute to open your heart to the beings that are dead, on this earth, right now; that have killed, on this earth, right now; that have survived, on this earth, right now. 

Too often these stories remain stories. And too often these stories remain unfelt. But the heart lives and breathes; it connects across continents and across cultures, and it is there on the warm floor of a classroom in dusty Pakistan, eyes closed, bleeding, waiting for the footsteps to stop. We are not separate in the great sea of events that composes us and our history. We feel every tremble. And it is our great burden and gift to do so. 

 

"You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens." - Rumi

 

Image on homepage: Women mourn their relative Mohammed Ali Khan, 15, a student who was killed during an attack by Taliban gunmen on the Army Public School. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing at least 126 people, officials said, in the worst attack to hit the country in years. ZOHRA BENSEMRA/REUTERS
 


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