Three Teachers on a Beach of Sorrow

Updated on March 15, 2019
Beata Stasak profile image

Beata works as a qualified primary school teacher, a councillor for drug and alcohol addiction and a farm caretaker for organic olive grow.

15. March 7 pm

The sand was still warm under our feet from the hot Autumn day.

My fellow teacher handed us three Turkish scarves to cover our heads in remembrance of those killed in two Mosques today. My other friend from one of the Perth’s best public school entered the foamy balm ocean to throw the wrath in their memory. Close to fifty lives lost in senseless terrorist act, even five years old child who was guilty of what? Being born to parents of Muslim faith?

We squeezed each other hands. Once upon a time, the three of us have studied at the same teaching college, the three young girls from different background and faith but with the same ideal to change children’s lives, to make this world of ours a better place.

Salmina’s family moved to Australia from Turkey and she has been teaching at the Perth Muslim College for decades now. Jacinta was Kiwi and she taught in Christchurch for years, coming back to Perth only recently. She was the natural leader everyone would follow her, even now she pointed at her lips and we all listened attentively to the radio news overheard from a car parked nearby.

New Zealand Prime Minister speaking from New Plymouth, said it was "one of New Zealand's darkest days", describing the incidents as "an unprecedented act of terrorism".

We nodded in agreement.

Suddenly we heard a cautious voice from Canberra.

Some low ranking parliament member trying to describe the terrorist act as a mere act of fear of Muslim refugees?

Some passerby walkers shook their heads: “Politicians would use anything to push their agenda, wouldn’t they? You shoot five- year- old children because you are scared of them, right?” The beach gathering started to rumble until they heard the Australian Prime Minister ensuring everyone that supporting terrorists is not the Australian way. Even if the main terrorist was Australian.

“He should get death penalty,” someone muttered throwing more flowers into the waves.

“Hope he never comes back here, he is not one of us, he makes us look really bad.” added his wife wiping her tears as she watched the sun goes down: “So many lives lost, what a tragedy, a senseless terrorist act in the place of God.”

Salmina and Jacinta approached the lady and they all prayed to God, they believed in, Salmina to her Allah. "I believe only in humanity", I smiled.

“It is the same thing,” Salmina whispered to me: “God and humanity.”

“It is the same thing,” Jacinta sighed: “A terrorist attack on Christian or Muslim community.”

“Yes,” I agreed: “Terrorists come from all cultures or religions and can be of all colors. It is the senseless and brainwashed urge to kill that bind them all.”


One Teacher on a March for Future

15. March 7 pm

Jacinta was calling her principal: “So are we going to attend the climate strike today? What the department says?”

“You will hear it on news soon, are students ready?”

“Oh yes,” Jacinta exclaimed excitedly: “They made their posters and all.”

“There you go, no one should stop the youth that care about their environment, it only means we taught them well, by the way hope you have all the parents’ permissions?”

“Of course, parents are behind their kids, they want bright future for them not dead planet!” Jacinta smiled to herself and jumped into her car.

The news bulletin introduced the head of the education department mumbling about not missing school today because it is a day against bullying and that is more important?

Jacinta angrily switched off radio mumbling to herself, we are learning how to protect students against bullies every day, but you and your government is doing nothing to protect us all against the natural disasters the climate change brings. You are failing your responsibility, we are not!

When Jacinta entered her year six classroom that morning, a group of students have been already there finishing their poster: ‘We study hard for our bright future that will never comes! Your coal will destroy us all!

“There is only one clean coal unit in huge mine in Texas,"one of her brightest student came to her with his iPad.

“Look, it has only one carbon storage and there are nine mines in total. They are using that stored carbon in the next field to extract more oil."

The student went back to his desk using big black marker to make his statement: ‘There is no such thing as clean coal, our Prime Minister, but there is such a thing called clear conscience!’

The shy red head smiled at her sheepishly, “I really like koalas” pointing at her drawing of injured koala dying of thirst with big letters above its head: ‘Koalas are dying, we will be next!”

Soon it was time to board the bus to take them to the middle of Perth to march. The masses of people, students from school from all over the state mingling with young and old, shouted in unison, we want future, we need future, without healthy planet there is no future!

Jacinta felt suddenly hope, a bright warm loving hope for all creatures, all life. There is hope, there must be hope when suddenly one of the teachers caught her arm: “There was terrorist attack in your city, Christchurch.”

“You mean earthquake? We have had two already, people of Christchurch are brave, they survive any natural disaster, they are bound together…”

“No Jacinta, there are killers on the loose with guns killing innocent people praying, they have a van full of explosives!”

“But why?” Jacinta suddenly looked around those young innocent faces of her students waving their placards and shouting: ‘Save us’. Who will save us from ourselves?

Questions & Answers

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      • Beata Stasak profile imageAUTHOR

        Beata Stasak 

        4 months ago from Western Australia

        Yes Dianna, I am absolutely sure of that but if you would see the first hand responses I have had to this article you would realize that teachers can change children's minds but their parents often resist that change be it for the good of environment or good of human kind...

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        4 months ago

        Interesting and stimulating article on working together for a cause. It would certainly be a change maker if more teachers encouraged students to think about how we can make a difference through nature.

      • Beata Stasak profile imageAUTHOR

        Beata Stasak 

        5 months ago from Western Australia

        Thank you for A B Williams I am correcting my own response to Shauna, James and Max:) Thank you my dear fellow hubbers and thank you especially to Shauna and James and Max, I will keep writing and I will keep reaching to those who have open minds and open hearts...we all do mistakes me including...I am not here to judge just to keep learning and keep opening my mind and my heart...thank you A B Williams:)

      • Beata Stasak profile imageAUTHOR

        Beata Stasak 

        5 months ago from Western Australia

        Also I think I should add my dear A B Williams and James that I am not religious and I disagree with James that religions are not the cause of the majority of wars among humans, even if they just use the God's name to cover their hunger for power and greed. Because I have a different opinion and disagree with James or you A B it does not make me 'half human' but if I use a gun and start to shoot at you because I disagree with you or disagree with me, that would make me 'half human' in my eyes, because humans have developed the language skills over the time so they can verbalize their disagreements and agree to disagree yes? If they shoot first and talk later that means they are not able to use all their human advantages they have been equipped with by evolution to progress as humanity.

      • Beata Stasak profile imageAUTHOR

        Beata Stasak 

        5 months ago from Western Australia

        My dear James A Watkins I have read with an interest your explanation of wars contra religions. And I know you talk from your Christian heart and I respect that. I would like to make some clarification in your statement against wars and violence I wholeheartedly agree with: It is not wrong to be white and it is not wrong to be religious

        It is wrong to be hateful and greedy

        All the religious people have a constitutional right to the Free Exercise of their Religions, which means to live out their faith at all times and in all places. They do not have to keep it to themselves.

        Worshipping God in public is a worldwide phenomenon.

        Unfortunately for peaceful and loving religious people here, religion, especially Christianity and Islam are the source of the world’s continual wars. But not all wars were fought in the name of God. Communists caused the blood-bathed horrors of the 20th century: Hilter, Stalin, Lenin, Mao, and Pol Pot.

        The NAZis were not Christians. Hitler and his band hated Jesus, who was after all, a Jew. And yet Nazis went to pray to their Jesus, they just made him look like German a blond angel with big blue eyes.

        If you really want to prevent the horrors of the bloodiest wars in world history, you would separate the Greed in the name of your God from the state.

        Between Alexander the Great, Persian wars, and various Roman wars, ten million people were killed in wars that had nothing to do with religion except they destroyed every time the temples of enemies because if you brought your Gods you worshipped to the place you won in the battle, you would make your mark! So the wars were thought for land and money but also for the Gods of the rulers. At that time people believed in many different Gods not only one!

        In China, hundreds of millions of people have died in wars stretching back nearly 2,000 years that had nothing to do with religion? The religious people have been extremely harshly prosecuted, there were many religions in the ancient China. Christian God is back there now but it does not make Chinese less greedy or less expanding right now. Also they prosecuted Uighurs enormously because of RELIGION right now!

        Millions of Indians died in wars before the white man ever set foot in the Americas. It had nothing to do with religion? They worshipped their own Gods and it the name of their Gods made sacrifices. When the missionaries who came to North and South America looking for gold and land, they wiped all the communities in the name of their God and then they built their church there and forced the remnants of native people to abandon their Gods and worship the victorious one!

        Genghis Khan’s men killed tens of millions but it had nothing to do with religion. Tamerlane killed 17 million—for religious reasons. He worshiped many Gods and Mongols do to this day!

        Most European wars were fought for reasons other than religion? Being born in Europe My family was torn apart and half killed all because of religious wars from the dawn of our history: Crusades, Catholics versus Muslims, Catholics versus Protestants, Catholics versus Jews, Catholics versus Communists, Orthodox versus Catholics…all these wars have been in the name of Religion!

        In Africa, at least 12 million people were killed in wars in the last 200 years that had nothing to do with religion? The most wars happened after the African colonization by Muslims and Christians who brought their religion!

        The Atheistic French Revolution killed millions of French Christians, the War of Roses in England killed millions of Christians, the Atheistic Revolution in Russia and the Atheistic Revolution in Red China killed well over fifty million innocent civilians who were religious. Socialism (Secularism) has killed 100 million people in just the last 100 years on the base of religion contra socialism that was against religion.

        The religious wars that were fought in Europe killed maybe ten million? One Hundred Years European War in the Middle Ages killed more than one percent of the dead from all wars. Less than 5% of all war deaths in human history can be attributed to conflicts having to do with non religious differences, and the vast majority of those are from Christians versus Islam.

        95% of all wars were wage for the reasons of Greed that is wrapped in the God’s calling. Keep the Greed in God’s name away from the levers of power and you will have far less war.

      • Beata Stasak profile imageAUTHOR

        Beata Stasak 

        5 months ago from Western Australia

        Dear A B Williams, you don't know me either, but we both know one man who defined color, previous grievances, religions, cultures and reached to ALL indifferently and openly, you know his name, he was born in your beautiful country. To quote Martin Luther King Jr: ‘Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love’.

        He was gunned down for his words by your called HUMANS who just disagree for what he has said...it is up to your consciousness to support those who gun him down because he was trying to spread LOVE not HATE...the answer to your own questions you find in your own answer...

        Where the environmental question is concerned it is also about LOVE my dear fellow hubber and I have nothing but respect for you because the aim of hatred and violence can be your fellow human being or someone who shoot animals for sport or damp plastic bags in the ocean to kill half of the marine life in the area or just by negligence cause oil spill in a huge bay and kill all the life there...just because it is environmental HATE does it matter less??? LOVE is about caring for everyone and everything around YOU...our environment is part of us and we are part of it...if you hate violence I know in my heart you hate violence not only against humanity but nature too...it is at the end the same thing...VIOLENCE DOES NOT KNOW BORDER AND NEITHER LIFE...I call half humans those who are killing HUMANITY...you are for sure not one of them...having different opinion doesn't count for being half human my dear fellow hubber, it counts to have a good brain and curiosity and daring to question things...you don't take a gun to shoot your opponent you ask him a question right? All the best to you and it is so good to have this conversation with you...any time...B

        I WOULD LIKE TO ALSO TO PUT THIS ANNOUNCEMENT TO YOUR ATTENTION SO YOU UNDERSTAND ME BETTER WHERE I COME FROM AND HOPEFULLY ALSO SUPPORT MY BELIEF AND MY WISH FOR ALL OF US TO LIVE PEACEFULLY AND WITHOUT HATE AND VIOLENCE AS YOU WISH TOO. CAN YOU SUPPORT ME IN IT? I CAN ONLY TALK ABOUT COUNTRY I LIVE IN AND THIS IS WHAT HAPPENING IN MY OWN COUNTRY RIGHT NOW! Moving forward to an inclusive multicultural society

        As a nation, Australia must urgently confront the climate of racism and hate that we have allowed to grow and fester.

        The terrorist who took the lives of at least 51 people from New Zealand’s Muslim community, and injured many more, was Australian. He grew up in a country that allows the abhorrent treatment of refugees and where migrant communities have been dehumanised and demonised.

        Together, we must recommit to confronting racism whenever we see it, and fighting the hateful politics our leaders have promoted.

        Let Friday be one of our darkest days, and join with us to strive to ensure this never happens again. Let’s not give extremists the power to change who we are for the worse. Let this be a chance for us to grow stronger, more committed to what is important to us, and to create every single day the communities that we want to live in.

        We stand for a world where freedom, justice, hope and love are not negotiable values, but at the heart of who we are.

        Today, more than ever before, we must stand together.

        Supporters, we have spoken. This petition, condemning the cruel and divisive words of Senator Fraser Anning, is the largest Australian petition in Change.org history.

        We have made it very clear that we do not want our leaders to discriminate. We do not want them to use tragedies to further their own hateful political agenda. We want leaders who are inclusive, civil and decent.

        I have been asked ‘what is the point’ of this petition, given that Australian law does not allow the government to expel Senators. The point is however to roundly condemn words and sentiments which are not conducive to peaceful society and to speak out against vile speech which discriminates, wounds and foments hate.

        To this end, there has been a call for a Parliamentary code of conduct. This is supported by The Greens and will be considered by Labor and the LNP. You may wish to consider signing this petition to support our politicians in considering this idea.

        https://www.change.org/p/scott-morrison-demand-a-p...

        Once again, I thank you all for showing that most people are kind, decent and inclusive.

        To quote Martin Luther King Jr: ‘Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love’.

      • abwilliams profile image

        A B Williams 

        5 months ago from Central Florida

        So Beata, those who disagree with you about climate change are half human, lacking humanity? If I dare to question something other than climate change, such as, why has there been such an increase in violent crimes against humanity? Over the past 20 years or so, EVIL doers, utilizing bombs, guns, knives, IED's, airplanes, cars, etc., basically anything they can get their wicked hands on, do so to do the greatest damage, to have the big body counts! I see HATE and EVIL, as the clear and present danger and that which kills HUMANITY....this is my opinion!

        It's sad that you do not even know me, but have deemed me "half human", simply because my opinion/views are different than yours. So much for being open minded!

        No worries, I'll not respond to you again. Be well!

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        5 months ago from Central Florida

        I stand corrected and more educated. Thank you, James. That said, I still feel people should not be persecuted for their religious beliefs or for any other reason, for that matter.

        Again, thank you for your very comprehensive history lesson, James. It was eye-opening.

      • James A Watkins profile image

        James A Watkins 

        5 months ago from Chicago

        Ms. Bowling ~ I have a constitutional right to the Free Exercise of my Religion, which means to live out my faith at all times and in all places. I do not have to keep it to myself.

        The NAZis were not Christians. Hitler and his band hated Jesus, who was after all, a Jew.

        Worshipping God in public is a worldwide phenomenon.

        One of the dumbest ideas making the rounds of the internet is that religion, especially Christianity, is the source of the world’s continual wars. If you really want to prevent the horrors of the bloodiest wars in world history you would separate the godless from the State. Anti-Christians Socialists caused the blood-bathed horrors of the 20th century: Hilter, Stalin, Lenin, Mao, and Pol Pot.

        Between Alexander the Great, Persian wars, and various Roman wars, ten million people were killed in wars that had nothing to do with religion.

        In China, hundreds of millions of people have died in wars stretching back nearly 2,000 years that had nothing to do with religion.

        Millions of Indians died in wars before the white man ever set foot in the Americas. It had nothing to do with religion.

        Genghis Khan’s men killed tens of millions but it had nothing to do with religion. Tamerlane killed 17 million—not for religious reasons.

        Most European wars were fought for reasons other than religion, too.

        In Africa, at least 12 million people were killed in wars in the last 200 years that had nothing to do with religion.

        The Atheistic French Revolution killed millions of noncombatants; the Atheistic Revolution in Russia and the Atheistic Revolution in Red China killed well over fifty million innocent civilians. Socialism (Secularism) has killed 100 million people in just the last 100 years.

        The religious wars that were fought in Europe killed maybe ten million—not even one percent of the dead from all wars. Less than 5% of all war deaths in human history can be attributed to conflicts having to do with religious differences, and the vast majority of those are from Islam.

        95% of all wars were wage for godless reasons. Keep the godless way from the levers of power and you will have far less war.

      • abwilliams profile image

        A B Williams 

        5 months ago from Central Florida

        Gosh, it did happen in my backyard, at an Orlando nightclub. It is horrible what screwed up, angry humans are capable of doing to other humans! We are all trying our best to come to terms with and understand why such evil is infiltrating all corners of this planet. That is where our focus should be.

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        5 months ago from Central Florida

        Beata, I think people are missing your point. You write from the heart, someone who lives and sees the terror we only read about. Most of the rest of the world don't feel it until it happens in our backyard.

        You are a voice who is trying her damndest to open the eyes of the world. And you do it without prejudice. Prejudice and lack of respect for our environment is killing us. I include those who attack others of different religions just because they honor a different god. I don't agree with the extremists of the Muslim religion, but not all Muslims are of the annihilation mindset. Jews have been persecuted by Christians. Have we forgotten the mass massacre of Jews in Germany? Our wars have always been over religion.

        Keep you religious beliefs and practices to yourself. Just as we keep our sex lives to ourselves. Well, except those who are not in the mainstream and throw their differences out there to be criticized. Some things should be kept private, such as religion, sex, and political stances.

        No one has sex in public. No one worships their god in public. Yet that has now become the way of the wars because people can't determine what should be kept behind closed doors and what shouldn't.

        Live and let live!

      • Max Havlick profile image

        Max Havlick 

        5 months ago from Villa Park, Illinois

        Hi Beata, nice to be in touch with your dear soul after somewhat of a hiatus. Your writing is splendid, and your ideas and sentiments profound, though you already know, of course, that some good readers will have different views.

        My own background comes from a broadly informed Christianity, and in my current Lord's Prayer research into what people actually think and believe about Higher Authority, I find that virtually everyone believes in some sort of Higher Authority (even though sometimes they find it within themselves), but the various religions and philosophies, and the individuals within them, all have strikingly different ways of identifying and describing the Highest Authority they honor and respect.

        Theists, of course, worship God under different names and in different ways within their different cultures, while strict naturalists look up to Nature, humanists up to Humanity, strict physicalists up to Science, and so on. Many combinations of these views also sometimes crop up in unusual places (like the back rows of some Christian churches I know).

        We humans have far from mastered all the arts of mutuality, but it is not pollyannistic to continue striving for that ideal, and speaking for it forcefully as you seem to do in your "Three Teachers" story.

        With continuing affectionate best wishes to you,

        Max

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        5 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Thank you for this. I needed it.

      • Beata Stasak profile imageAUTHOR

        Beata Stasak 

        5 months ago from Western Australia

        Indeed my beautiful Shauna indeed:) Sometimes I stop myself to open my laptop in my lunch and recess breaks or in an early morning hours when I should sleep and not to ponder about US and the world we live in...there are so many open minded and intelligent people here and anywhere online who support me in my search for universal happiness that will never come if we do not support each other as humans should and our planet too...And there are many people who find my open ended questions addressed to no one particularly but to all of us as THREAT TO THEIR OWN BEING AND THEY START TO ATTACK ME AS A PERSON HAVING NOT ONE CLUE WHO I TRULY AM OR DO OR ACT UPON OR SUFFER FROM IN MY DAILY LIFE BUT THEY ATTACK ME PERSONALLY JUST BECAUSE SOMEWHERE SOMEHOW IN MY RESPONSES I SHOOK THEIR STATUS QUO...Maybe it is the only way we can progress forward yes? By taking our frustrations on a messenger who make us ask the uncomfortable questions yes?

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        5 months ago from Central Florida

        Powerful ending to this piece, Beata.

        I think it's wonderful that the teachers in your country band together with the children to attend climate protests. That would never happen here in America. Marches happen, yes, but not initiated and supported by the schools.

        Indeed, who will save us from ourselves?

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