At the time of writing it is 12th October and I am in Myanmar again, a place that, I feel very passionate about. Now as a songwriter/writer and poet, I am lucky enough to have found the “companion” of writing. For me writing is a non-judgemental “friend” who I can say anything too and I know that “it” will stay with me regardless of what I say.
Don’t misunderstand me, I know I have a responsibility when writing material that may be published, to do my best to be honest, to try not to offend, and to write with my “eyes open”. I write lots of material that isn’t published and some of this is extremely raw indeed.
For people who have challenges in mental health issues, you may find such things as the gym, running, painting, hiking or a myriad of other activities, your “companions”. Whatever it may be, try to find something that allows you to express in some way, the challenges you face and the triumphs too. it’s important to recognise both ends of the spectrum (in my opinion) although I have to admit to being less enthusiastic in celebrating the triumphs. Perhaps that’s just me (?)
So, why the title “Lost for words…” you may be wondering.
Well, I read in the Bangkok Post newspaper of the 7th October 2016 an article that, I had to read three times, because I honestly could not believe my eyes.
The above title is a slightly tenuous link to the story I am about to paraphrase, but, quite simply I was “lost for words” and eventually a few days later I found myself with so much anger, disbelief and sadness and impassionment that I struggled to get anywhere near reconciliation of such heinous acts of cruelty and disregard for human rights.
Let me explain :
Rodrigo Duterte’s popularity as President of the Philippines has “soared” in his first three months in office. Mr Duterte has promised to stamp out crime. One of his ways of doing this is to make any DRUG ADDICT immediately extinguishable. In other words, without, due process, trial or reason, if you are an addict you are liable to be murdered/exterminated.
He has ruled a pardon for himself and his police force for mass murders, in this conquest and he said that he would be happy to kill 3 million people, likening his “mission” to that of Adolf Hitler….although he later apologised to the Jewish community for this alignment.
I emphasise that the above is a paraphrasing of the article that I read, and I have corroborated this story with a few sources, and it seems to be an accurate account, as far as I can tell.
What has this got to do with Depression ?
Well, being “lost for words” on reading this, I immediately thought of the complete ignorance of Human rights and due process, but further to this, many depressed folk, find themselves prey to pushers of drugs, because of their vulnerability and the emotional pain they experience, and an attempt to escape that pain.
The article did not clarify whether Mr Duterte’s campaign for human slaughter included people who were addicted to medicated/prescribed drugs, and what of those sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis that may smoke cannabis for pain relief ?
Don’t get me wrong, many people are involved in drug trafficking, trading drugs for arms, and these are very serious crimes indeed because they rely on the vulnerable “users” for gain………so is mental illness now a crime in the Philippines ?
This reminds me of a piece that I wrote about a year ago about the forced sterilisation of people with mental illness in Germany, something heavily endorsed by Hitler and not outlawed in Germany until well after the demise of Hitler.
“Those humans targeted for destruction under Nazi eugenics policies were largely living in private and state-operated institutions, identified as “life unworthy of life” , including prisoners, degenerate, dissident, people with congenital cognitive and physical disabilities (including feebleminded, epileptic, schizophrenic, manic-depressive, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, deaf, blind) (German: erbkranken), homosexual, idle, insane, and the weak, for elimination from the chain of heredity. More than 400,000 people were sterilized against their will, while more than 300,000 were killed under a euthanasia program”
I have written many times of the fact that I must remind myself that there are some ancient traditions in faraway cultures that I, and the majority of people of my generation find abhor-able, yet we have not grown up in these cultures and what right do I have to be judgemental about certain traditions…… BUT……Mr Duterte’s proposed genocide which is going on NOW……..Is very clearly a breach of human rights and needs to be stopped.
THE HOUR OF NEED IS NOW.
If you are in agreement with this, please leave a comment, share this on all the social media channels you possibly can, and for God’s sake let’s ALL do our part to speak up for our fellow humans.
THE HOUR OF NEED IS NOW.
With love peace and hope