Please, World, Do It For Our Children

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In the wake of the atrocities that took place in Nice last night, I can’t help but feel powerless – as a mother, but also as a human being.

I cry for those who were torn from us, bleed for the families that mourn their losses.

It could’ve been anyone of us last night, taking a late night stroll on Promenade des Anglais, the main street of Nice, watching the last of the fireworks. It pains me to think we live in a world where you just have to pray you’re not in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The world as we know it is a very different place than the one we once knew as kids, or maybe we were just shielded from it all – the sad, the ugly, the tragedies. Maybe that’s just what parents do: cover up the messes and smile, despite it all.

Even though he is still oblivious to everything going on around us,  I can’t help but think of Liam growing up in this world. Of having to protect him from all of it. A world that preaches violence, fear, and hate on all fronts. A “modern” world that has so much potential, yet is so far from being at peace: men who step on each other for a tighter grasp on power, multibillion dollar industries that show no consideration for our healths, our plants, our animals, minds clouded by dollar signs, their humanity replaced by greed.

I’m horrified by the deaths we count by dozens, hundreds, in the news, wars started on issues of race, religion, resources, and often, the lack of action from our leaders.

The destruction we see all around us. Aren’t we all one and the same?

 I feel powerless.

It is my only hope–as a mother, a human being–that somehow this world will change for the better rather than the worse. That our children, with their clean slates and innocence, do not have to watch it burn down to ashes, watch their friends and families suffer.

We’ve seen enough in the last few years… Let them be spared.

It is my only hope that good will one day overcome evil. That people will come together to make a positive change, hopefully before it is too late and there is nothing left to save.

If you need a reason… Do it for our children.




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Johanna Riehm teaches in the department of Communication and Media at Manhattanville College and in the department of English at Mercy College. She teaches courses in the history of communication, public speaking, and social media, as well as creative and technical writing workshops. Johanna’s work has been featured in Graffiti Literary Magazine, The Write Place at the Write Time, The Bangalore Review, Cactus Heart Press, and the LaMothe Review. She is working on her first longer work, a creative nonfiction novel called We Carved Our Names in Tamarind Trees.

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