There is no doubt, Hospital sucks!

Hospital sucks no matter how hard they try to make it a life-enhancing experience. Of course the whole point of being in hospital is because life is not exactly perfect right now, even in a well-appointed, well-managed institution like a private hospital, The privilege of being there comes at the cost of a considerable portion of one’s income or pension. Like for me it may be a self-inflicted experience, wanting a better knee than the worn out one I do still have.  Even self-inflicted accidents, negligence, carelessness of self or others, not taking proper care of our health and lack of concern for others can result in our ending up there.

Hospitals are places of pain and suffering that is begging for relief.  Any operation is bound to be painful and as the saying goes, “no pain no gain.” its ultimate outcome is a better quality of life, relief of some physical or mental dysfunction and even greater beauty.  Millions of health professionals are dedicated to meeting that need in a vast variety of ways.  And of course the health profession provides needed employment to many people, young and older.

HOWEVER, the bottom line is that hospital sucks, especially for children and ESPECIALLY FOR CHILDREN OF WAR.  While I was lying here nursing my pain, begging for pain relief, hating the physioterrorist who causes more pain in the interest of a good recovery I was meditating.  Early on when someone sent me an intended cheery whatsapp message in essence saying, “love your neighbor”  I was inclined to reply.  “Never mind the neighbor, It’s me I’m concerned with.”  But loving your neighbor as you love yourself has other implications including a deeper reflection on the suffering of others and in particular those CHILDREN OF WAR.

An uncountable number of children from tiny to teens have suffered throughout the ages while their elders fought their battles.   on my spiritual journey I decided to do a little research on the topic and found a most fascinating in-depth article by unicef in 1996 that warrants far greater study also from a family perspective.

Although war throughout the ages has included pillaging of villages, capturing of civilians, rape of women and girls, the battles on the whole were fought by fighting soldiers. It was recent developments in warfare that significantly heightened the dangers for children. The wars of the 20th century, frequently in developing countries and in civil conflict began to focus so strongly on civilians, as deliberate targets or incidental casualties..

According to UNICEF in the one decade from mid 1980s to 1996 child victims have included:

  • 2 million killed;
  • 4-5 million disabled;
  • 12 million left homeless;
  • more than 1 million orphaned or separated from their parents;
  • some 10 million psychologically traumatized.

Closer to home a visit to a Boer War concentration camp museum listed  many mothers and children who were starved to death. Children have died as political activists. Gang warfare on the Cape Flats and other impoverished and ungovernable areas create CHILDREN OF WAR too.

Have we not learned any lessons? In the last 75 years the world has almost been constantly at war or experiencing serious levels of conflict somewhere, in some form. War games are no games no matter what is displayed on TV all the time.

War on children still takes many different forms, in small and larger ways, child soldiers, sex slaves, even in families, communities, society, churches. Hospitals are places where pain and suffering are addressed and in many areas where the need is most desperate they are hopelessly inadequate.  Jesus cries not only over Jerusalem but constantly over every part of the world. “  He reminds us, “What you do to the least of my people you do to me.”   CHILDREN OF WAR must be amongst the least of his people and genuine love and compassion cannot condone this evil done to them.




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