They are our Mothers

Since the massacre in Maguindanao, I have been grieving and reading all the articles  and reports. The one item that has not been discussed is the fact that many of the victims were mothers,  both were Muslims and  Christians, some were human rights lawyers, media,  teachers and professionals, but many were mothers. I do not accept that what happened is part of the rido culture and that demons were behind the massacre. To reduce this brutality to a Muslim cultural practice is to excuse the masterminds and inflict more injustice to our Moro sisters and brothers. To label the killers as demons is to box in  criminal minds  and bar people from doing the right thing . Demonizing criminals enhances their power, imposes a climate of fear and weakens action that is possible among citizens. Many clans, from Cagayan to Basilan, even those in  Metro Manila must act against such powerful display of brutality, that lawlessness in those areas challenge members of the the modernizing elite to reform our justice and political  system. It is a fact that during elections, more violence is committed by those in power. Steinbeck said that  ” power corrupts but  the fear of losing power corrupts more.”

What should we do now ?  There is a Buddhist practice that we can develop as  a meme  : mindfulness and seeing the mother in all of us.  In planting the motherhood meme , we must regard  both victims and enemies as mothers. The power to kill mothers, wives, sisters should not be allowed to take root in our nation. This power can be challenged when we switch to  a powerful meme :  that all of us are mothers.  As mothers, women and men  have the power of life and truth. We carry every life to full term and  we have the duty to raise our voices and end all these  violence.

Every week, get people to wear their protest.

Then around Xmas time, enliven the period with loving mothers  issuing the call for truth and justice. Mga Ina ng Bayan tayong lahat.

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