When confronted by something too painful, incredulous, or monstrous to believe, a person will sometimes say, “I couldn't even wrap my head around that!”
Such was probably one of the main reasons the international community took so long to respond in any meaningful way to the abduction of the almost 300 Chibok school girls in Nigeria. The emotional impact was, and is, not completely unlike that of seeing for the first time a film clip of the aircraft exploding against the Twin Towers on 9/11. It was an image unprecedented in one’s mental model of what reality is supposed to be and therefore an image one was not able to immediately process.
Who could believe that an army of armed adult men would attack and abduct nearly 300 school girls in the middle of the night? Moreover, in retrospect, why were the girls left in such a vulnerable position in the first place?
For me, once I was able to “wrap my head” around what had happened, I cancelled the article I had originally planned to post for Mother’s Day. In its place I wrote the story Mothers, Daughters, and Slavery Make Disturbing 2014 Holiday News published by Charter for Compassion and in my Examiner column.
Now that we are processing the unfathomable horror, various agencies are devising strategies to help resolve the situation. Influential figures are speaking out. The excruciatingly painful problem is that after almost a month in captivity, it is impossible for the students––some of whom reportedly have been “sold into slavery” or forced into “marriage”–– to come out of this ordeal unscathed. For now, at least, opportunity remains for them to reclaim their stolen dreams and reconstruct their deeply wounded lives.
Mother's Day 2014
Contemporary award-winning author of classically-styled works in history, poetry, creative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and journalism.