“It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”
Last night I was scrolling through Netflix wondering if there was anything I had any interest in watching. One title caught my eye I am Slave which according to the synopsis was based on a true story of a young Sudanese girl who, after her village is raided, is sold into domestic slavery by her captors.
Naturally it was not an easy watch. From the age of 12 to 18 she returned a captive initially in Khartoum and then after she was considered too much trouble she was sent to London. It was just incredible for me to see the cruelty these people were capable of; beating her with a garden house for playing with her ‘master’s’ child to locking her in a room with no heat or food for a week. For a person to look at another human being, a child, and see them as nothing, as dispensable, was a concept I’ve always struggled with. Though I’m not naive; I know this is something that occurs on a daily basis, it was still hard to understand the minds of people like that. The mind of the slavers, the mind of those that she working for who had young children of their own that they loved who would no doubt do anything to keep them safe. How can anyone justify treating another human being in such a sadistic way with little remorse. Despite the cruelty shown to her, she treated the children she minded with as much love and kindness as she would her own children. She was able to see how the children she minded had not been corrupted like their parents and so she held no ill will towards them and they innocently, showed great fondness for her. It takes great bravery to not inflict the pain on others that has been inflicted on you.
It made me always think about the refugee crisis that is on going across the world. No Irish parent could bear to see their children or themselves go through what these refugees themselves have gone through and yet many would show reluctance to let them in here to seek safety. They would demand Irish illegal immigrants are treated fairly and their sons and daughters in Australia are not discriminated against but not people seeking a better life in their own country. I can understand the fear of terrorism coming into countries but it is my belief that it will come anyway. ISIS will find a way in by any means possible if they want. The people fleeing these countries are fleeing ISIS itself – a significant blow to their supposed ‘caliphate’. What do we do to support them? We turn our backs to them allowing ISIS opportunity to use it to their advantage; showing them that those in the west don’t want to help them ‘we’re the only friends you have’. These people are the key to defeating ISIS. Once they lose the support of their communities, they lose significant power. Control through fear never lasts. Malia learned that when she realised her captive’s threats, even those of physical violence, were nothing but the sound of her fear in losing the imaginary power she held, she was able to finally escape.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”