Intrepid Youth!

He was born in Tanzania in 2014, socialized and moved to Siem Reap, Cambodia in 2016. This September 25th, this young male named Magawa, was awarded a gold medal for bravery for “acts of the greatest heroism or for most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger”. ***********************************

*Magawa, however, is a civilian, not a soldier. What he did to earn his medal (and continues to do) in his short span of life thus far was help clear 141,000 square meters of land from still active landmines. In so doing Magawa has made life safer for countless Cambodians. He wears the gold medal around his neck, a symbol of humanitarian selflessness. Magawa is an inspiration to all who have been a part of his life. Magawa is proof that there may be hope for ridding the world of landmines left behind during one conflict or another, sometimes exploding and killing those that unwittingly step on one, killing some children even younger than Magawa. *************************************

One may have seen Magawa’s likeness more than a few times. Such encounters may likely not elicit a sense of admiration or inspiration. If fact, coming across a Magawa-like figure usually elicits negative reactions. Revulsion. Disgust. Fear. Why? Why the rush to judgement? ************************************

Because our gold medal winning young male is a rat. Yeah. A rat. Now you know they may not be all bad. *************************************

Magawa can now keep company with other PDSA medal winners. That would include horses, dogs and pigeons. *************************

So, next time you see a rat scurrying about here or there (just looking for food and shelter, no doubt, and–ironically–trying to avoid those deadly traps aimed at killing them for their effort) before you think of the Black Plague or the face devouring rodents invoked as a torture technique in Orwell’s 1984, think of Magawa. I mean, come on, it’s not as though our human species is always trying to better other’s lives. After all, who do you think made those deadly landmines in the first place? And then left them behind after one of its armies killed more than their adversaries killed them? *******************************

Long live Magawa!

About jharrin4

mass communication/speech instructor at College of DuPage and Triton College in suburban Chicago. Army veteran of the Viet Nam era.
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1 Response to Intrepid Youth!

  1. Some rats are much better than others. [I’m thinking about the low life living rat in the WH. He is destroying the lives of Americans by having no plan to level the number of COVID-19 infections.]


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