Mammy, Can You Tell Me Why?

~ questions about suffering

(A bed-time scene) We can see the futility of conflicts and the crises of pain and suffering in our world, so much more clearly through the questions a child asks).

Child: Mammy, can you tell me why,

GROWN UPS go to war?

You said if we as CHILDREN talk things through,

We wouldn't need to fight anymore.

Mother: Well my dear, we leave it to...

World leaders to discuss...

But we could write and ask them why,

And if they've time, they could tell us?

Child: But why do ADULTS drop those bombs,

Do they not make things worse?

Should we not love each other more,

All over the universe?

Mother: Of course we must; of course should.

Folks are selfish; things aren’t fair!

Child: Is that why there’s diseases,

Is that what poisons air?

Child: And mammy what’s the reason why,

Animals become extinct?

Mother: Well I think that greed’s the cause,

Child: Is that why forests shrink?

Child: Mammy, can you tell me why

Poor people have to suffer?

We pray each day for daily bread,

But they’ve no bread OR butter?

Mother: It’s not easy to explain to you

A famine or a drought?

It’s clear though that the weather’s changed,

Of that there is no doubt.

Child: But mammy, why’s the weather changing so?

Have we done something wrong?

Mother: You ask too many questions child,

Close your eyes, I’ll sing you a song.

Child: But mammy if we have done wrong,

Could we not make it right?

Could we not start tomorrow?

Mother: Sssssh my child! Good-night (She tucks the child in, and closes the bedroom door behind her.)

Mother: (whispers softly to herself) Oh child, there is no black and white,

There are many shades of grey.

If only there WERE answers, the clouds might fade away…

(Then maybe I would sleep better, knowing your future was secure!)