I first saw this video clip on facebook. Over the years one gets inured to seeing such sights frequently on various clips on the net. For whatever it was worth, I decided to check it out.
There is no two ways about the fact that it is very disturbing. That so many millions could be dying this way in various corners is appalling. The comment on the insensitivity of people who waste food in the face of such deprivation of a large section of the world's population is now almost a cliche. I could not feel irritated at the lady who started sobbing loudly when the children were lying helplessly there. It almost seemed to me to be making a spectacle of their fate.
But as soon as the older child stepped onto the scene (she was barely a year older than the two children herself), the whole mood of the film changed for me. I was speechless at the sight of this child who was so responsible - a little mother to her two siblings - and the love and care with which she bathed them and laid them out to dry. Words fail me. She looks pretty emaciated herself. Yet she first gives her starving siblings a cracker each before taking one herself.
Just what instinct could one put this down to? A maternal instinct? Or the very basic human instinct to protect its own species in times of adversities? The indomitable spirit of human kind? I can't find the answer to these questions. It certainly seems to be beyond all human understanding - plain unselfish love. This is what human nature is supposed to be all about?
How have we, who were meant to be like this little girl, become so selfish and self-centred as we are? Is it that as soon as we get enough for our basic necessities, we start getting possessive and protective of it and become beasts in human clothing? Do we have to be fighting for our basic survival before we start thinking of others and their needs before ours? Rather contradictory isn't it?