Learning Outcomes for All is Connected: A folktale from the Democratic Republic of Congo

Prepared for the Annual Children’s and Youth Services meeting of Public Librarians in North East Zone NSW, Australia, 2014

Previously I have told this folktale as a story of empowerment. However, in the context of the Children’s Librarian’s meeting with it’s focus on developing links with their communities in their literacy and learning activities, there are a number of ideas the story suggests that Children’s and Youth Librarians may want to consider. As community leaders, initiating, facilitating and mentoring community members, they also have to consider funding requirements, statistics, local politics, library policies and lobbyists in their work. It is all too easy to be swamped by bureaucracy and lose sight of the importance of advocacy work. Here is the story, and following is what the story offers up to those who want to promote a harmonious community.

All Is Connected

There was once a chief who brought his people to camp on the edge of a swamp. They lay down to sleep that night to the sound of the frogs’ song. The array of rhythmic croaks and calls brought great comfort to the people because it signified the harmony in which they all lived. But the chief was outraged with the ribbitting racket of the swamp dwellers and screamed for them to shut up. They were disturbing his sleep. But the frogs paid no heed to the rantings of the chief and continued their song. The chief tossed and turned and bellowed his fury at the frogs, but they continued their song well into the night. At dawn the chief had worked himself into a state of rage not only at the frogs’ song but their refusal to be silent. He called his warriors together and demanded they bring everyone before him. When all the people were assembled the chief proclaimed that the frogs were to all punished for disturbing his peace. Everyone was given a large stick and ordered to enter the swamp and beat the frogs to death. If they refused to carry out the chief’s orders they would be beaten instead.
With great reluctance the people took the clubs and trudged into the swamp. All except an old woman who refused to take a stick and remained steadfast in front of the chief.
“Why do you defy me?” demanded the chief.
“Because all is connected,” she answered.
“What do you mean?” asked the chief.
“You will find out,” she replied.
The chief glared at the old woman, then shouted for her to leave him before he beat her himself.
Later that day the people sat around their camps, disheartened by the dreadful deed they had carried out. That night an eerie silence filled the air. The people found it hard to sleep, knowing that the frogs were no longer their companions. The chief however slept soundly, that night and the next.
It was the third night that he was awakened by an annoying hum. Swarms of mosquitoes descended on the camp. The mosquito larvae no longer eaten by the frogs had all hatched and the swamp was infested with millions of mosquitoes. The night air was filled with the drone of mosquitoes punctuated by the sounds of people slapping their bitten skin.
“Enough is enough,” they cried, and quietly gathered their belongings and moved away from the swamp and their chief.
At dawn the following day the chief, who had barely slept a wink, stood up and looked around. He was all alone, except for the old woman who had refused to kill the frogs. She stared at the chief’s bite ridden face and body and shook her head.
“Now do you understand what I said about all being connected?” she asked. Then she turned from him and walked away, leaving him with no one to rule over but the mosquitoes.

Story Suggestions for the Promotion of a Harmonious Community:

– The actions or inaction of one person can impact on a whole community.
– It is the moral duty of the most powerful to respect and protect the least powerful in a community.
– Silence is not consent.
– The dispossessed, displaced and disenfranchised also have voices that need to be heard.
– Those with the loudest voices are not always right.
– A tolerant community means that even if you don’t like someone else’s song, or choose not to sing it yourself, that you still respect their right to sing.
– Rule by fear will always have a bad outcome.
– Momentary gratification should not be at the expense of ancient wisdom.

Story Source:
Eleven Nature Tales: A multicultural journey by Pleasant DeSpain
August House, Little Rock Arkansas US copyright 1996

Picture by Roman W Schatz of Morgan conducting a storytime at an Australian preschool

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The Head and the Body Must Serve Each Other

Today I had my blood taken by a woman skilled in the practice of blood extraction. No she wasn’t a vampire. There was no fear or horror engendered by her actions: it was quick, painless and accurate. I related my mother’s positive experience of having blood taken by the pathology nurses, and her dread of ever having a doctor perform this fortnightly task on her. For each time a doctor had performed this task, she invariably ended up with multiple jabs and bruising on her arms, as they couldn’t find her veins. This was never the case with the nurses.

The phlebotomist smiled and said that she recently had a doctor who needed his own blood taken, and had proceeded to tell her how to go about her job. Needless to say she was not amused by his condescension. 
Our discussion reminded me of a story from the Wolof people in Senegal; a tale I have read but not told, because the right audience had not appeared in my life. However, if called upon to choose an appropriate story to tell to those people for whom humility is a stranger and arrogance second nature, or perhaps as a reminder that we all serve humanity, whatever our position in society, then this is the tale to tell. It was collected by Harold Courlander and can be found in his book, The King’s Drum and other African Stories (1962) Harcourt, Brace and World, New York.

THE KING OF SEDO  A story from the Wolof Tribe, Senegal

In the town of Sedo in northern Senegal there was a King named Sabar. His armies were very powerful and they conquered many towns, and the people of these towns paid tribute to him. Neighbouring chiefs who passed through Sedo always bowed down to King Sabar and gave him gifts. And the King enjoyed the obedience and respect everyone accorded him. But as he grew older he would proclaim his greatness and boast that there was no-one to contradict him because his word was not only law in Sedo but and all the surrounding land.

One day a griot came to Sedo and he entertained the King and his entourage. He recited a story of praise for King Sabar and and his ancestors. He then sung a song:

The dog is great among dogs,

Yet he serves man.

The woman is great among women,

Yet she waits upon her children.

The hunter is great among hunters,

Yet he serves the village.

A griot is great among griots,

Yet they sing for the King and his servants.

After the griot has finished the song, King Sabar asked him to explain the meaning of the song. The griot replied, that the song meant that all men serve, no matter what their station. But King Sabar was adamant that this was not so, because although he  was a man, he was the King of Sedo and he did not serve anyone. Others served him. When the griot did not speak, the King demanded to know whether this was the truth. The griot humbly bowed before the King and asked, “Who am I to say the King of Sedo speaks what is not true?”    

At this moment a holy man wandered through the crowd of people. The griot seeing him, immediately asked the King’s permission to feed him some of the food from the King’s bowl which he had not eaten. The King acceded to the griot’s request, eager to return to their discussion. The griot then asked the King to hold his harp while he took some food from the King’s bowl to give to the holy man. The King took the harp and held it while the griot fed the holy man. When the holy man had finished eating, the griot once again stood before King Sabar, and he spoke. “You have said that all men serve the King of Sedo and that he does not serve others. Yet you have given a wandering holy man food from your bowl, and you have held the harp for a mere griot while he served another. How then can one say a king does not serve. It is said, ‘The head and the body must serve each other.” The griot then took his harp from the hands of the King and sang:

The soldier is great among soldiers,

Yet he serves the clan.

The King is great among kings,

Yet he serves his people.” 

Photograph by Roman W. Schatz

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Strength: the truth teller or the opinionator

Early morning conversation between storyteller and husband

 

I’m just working out what I want to write in my blog.

And what country are you going to upset today?

I’m not selective, but I do want to write about yesterday’s incident. Some people would say that I stepped into a minefield for challenging the sanctity of the americans’ belief in their right to bear arms, but I reject that metaphor. When there are kids in the world today having their legs blown off by land mines, how can we in all conscience, make light of that by using that terminology to describe a conversation.  It’s like when people say they are starving, or that some one was their slave, or someone is a fascist.  These flippant exaggerations trivialise the reality of the lives of millions of people, past and present. 
No I am not being politically correct. That accusation is levelled at truth tellers as a denigration, because people don’t like being reminded of their insensitivity or privilege.
Truth teller?  Is that how you see yourself? I’ve always thought of you as a professional liar. 
But I know when I’m telling lies, and if other people are telling lies then I want to set them straight; especially those that think they are telling the truth. 
So whose truth are you telling? 
My own of course; everyone has there own version.
What about opinionator? Isn’t that closer to the mark? 
Everyone’s entitled to my opinion.

 

Here Lies Truth

 

Yesterday I encountered people who believed passionately in lies. Let me begin with the last one. This is instantly recognizable because its an ‘internet story.’ It is sincere, purports to be the truth, and includes factual information to assist in its credibility. I believed it when I heard my colleague tell it to the library crowd. We discussed it afterwards and I went home and retold it to my husband, who was immediately skeptical. I, being entranced by the tale had suspended disbelief, but then went in search of a source. I wanted it to be true. Numerous sites posting the story came up, but all with no source. My further research showed no evidence of the story’s validity. It was folklore, a lovely story, but not a true story. And so I will tell her what I have discovered, which doesn’t mean she shouldn’t tell it, but does mean that she needs to tell it in a truthful context. I’m a professional storyteller and I feel beholden to know the sources of my stories and credit them when possible. I also like to differentiate between the possible and the actual. 

 

This takes me to my first encounter, with a number of people who believed they had the right to own and use guns chiefly to protect themselves against their government. No these weren’t citizens living under a dictatorship; they were americans, living in a democracy. Every person over the age of 18 can vote in that country, although many don’t exercise that right. While the US government is currently proposing legislation that threatens the civil liberties of all people living there, the response by these people was not to mobilise citizens to vote or to protest, but to arm themselves with weapons.

 

They seriously believe that in a democracy all people have the right to carry and use guns, and that this will protect them; from their own elected government.
I understand that there is a valid reason for some people to carry a gun, such as putting down a sick farm animal, or if you are under attack from a bear, or an alligator, but that’ s probably not such a big threat in most American cities. 

 

As to the other reasons like defending your person and property. Property is just stuff; inanimate things. Nothing worth killing for. As to defending yourself and family? From what? Bears? Oh no its gangs. And they have easy access to weapons that they will always get illegally so gun control won’t affect them, or so I’ve been told. But how do you know if you’ve never done it?

 

What if the US government decided that everyone had to hand in their guns, unless they had a bear or alligator problem or were farmers (all of whom have no need for automatic weapons). What if?
Undoubtedly there would be outrage by some sectors of the US community; a sad indictment on the morality of that country. But I hold to the vision of a world where strength is not measured in armaments or weaponry but in humanity.

 

Strength (A Limba Tale from West Africa)

 

All the animals gathered together and elephant announced his idea to have a contest to discover who has strength.
On the appointed day each animal was to display their strength. Everyone arrived and last of all came Man, who had brought a gun with him and left it in the bushes.
Chimpanzee went first. He held his arms up in the air and shook them, then ran up the trunk of a small tree, bent it down and tied it into a knot.
He climbed back down and asked, ‘Strength! Strength! Was that Strength?’
And all the animals cheered. ‘Strength! Strength! Strength!’
Then Deer leaped up into the air and ran five kilometres into the forest and back again without being out of breath.
She looked around and called out, ‘Strength! Strength! Was that Strength?’
And all the animals cheered. ‘Strength! Strength! Strength!’

Leopard then jumped up and drew out his long claws and began to scrape the earth. The dirt flew left and right and the animals had to moved out of the way.He turned to the assembly and growled, ‘Strength! Strength! Was that Strength?’

And all the animals cheered.
‘Strength! Strength! Strength!’Bushbuck strode forward, lowered her horns and he ploughed a road through the canefields.

She turned to the crowd and shouted, ‘Strength! Strength! Was that Strength?’

And all the animals cheered.
‘Strength! Strength! Strength!’Elephant then leaned his shoulder against a clump of trees and each one of them broke and crashed to the ground.He turned to the other animals and trumpeted, ‘Strength! Strength! Was that Strength?’

And all the animals cheered. ‘Strength! Strength! Strength!’

 And last it was Man’s turn.  He whirled and he twirled about, then he did somersaults and cartwheels and handsprings. When he was finished he turned to the animals and asked, ‘Strength! Strength! Was that Strength?’

And all the animals all looked at each other and slowly they answered.

‘It was exciting but we’re not sure if that’s strength.’

So  Man climbed a tree and he threw down the palm nuts. he climbed back down and asked,’Strength! Strength! Was that Strength?’ 

Once again the animals looked at each other and said, ‘You climbed a tree, which is great, but that’s really not strength. Can you do anything else?’

Man was angry.

He ran into the bush and retrieved his gun. He ran back with it, pointed it at the elephant and then pulled the trigger.

BANG

The elephant fell down dead.

Man jumped up and bragged. ‘Strength! Strength! Wasn’t THAT strength?!’

But there were no animals to answer him. They had all fled into the forest, where they huddled together and talked.

‘Did you what he did? Was that strength?’ 

There was silence while they all pondered the question.  

‘No that was not Strength.  That was DEATH.’

Since that day the animals will not walk with Man.

When Man enters the forest he walks by himself. And they still talk of him. Man; the creature who cannot tell the difference between strength and death.

 

Sources: Limba stories and story-telling [compiled and translated by] Ruth Finnegan Published 1967 by ClarendonP. in Oxford, UK   MacDonald, M. R. (1992). Peace Tales: World Folktales to Talk About. Linnet Books, USA

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Look out for Bears

 

Bat and Sun – A story about Identity

I think the issue of ‘identity’ is the key to understanding the exploitation of those that are not ‘us’. This delineation of ‘difference’ between ‘us’ and ‘them’ has been used to justify the murder and exploitation of both humans and animals. I like the adage told to me by my storytelling friend Gill Di Stefano, ‘when you know someone’s story you are less likely to kill them’. Empathy lies at the heart of storytelling, it is the simplest expression of our humanity. 
One of my favourite stories to tell anyone and everyone is an Aboriginal Creation Story called Why the Platypus is Special, and it can be found in my book, Tell me: Storytelling as a Global Language. I tell it whenever I can because it celebrates both Unity and Uniqueness. There is also a more widely known story about how the platypus was created. A story that I haven’t told to children and would only do so in a particular healing context. (Briefly, a duck is kidnapped by a rat, raped and imprisoned by him and when she finally escapes back to her duck family, gives birth to creatures that are different to all the other ducklings. The ducks shun her and her children and they are forced to find another place in the river to live. Hence the platypus is born). 
However the following tale, Bat and Sun, is one that I am happy to tell in any context. It too explores the consequences of rejection and has provenance in many countries throughout  the world. Because I live near a bat colony, I have come to understand and appreciate both their beauty and important role in maintaining our ecosystems; nectar and fruit-feeding bats are vital to forest regeneration as pollinators and dispersers of rainforest seeds. 
My telling draws more on the African versions by Gersie and Makuchi. (see story sources). However it is also a story about Death and Attachment.

 

Bat and Sun

 

For many days and nights now Bat tended his dying mother. Although he gave her all the comfort and nourishment her old body needed, he could not heal her. Bat was desperate. He went to the birds and asked, ‘Is there a healer among you who could make my mother well?’ After a discussion they turned to Bat and replied, ‘The Sun is the greatest healer of all. You must go to him if you want your mother to be well again.’
The sun lived so far away and Bat was reluctant to go on such a long journey and leave his mother. He went to the animals and asked them if there was a healer among them who could restore his mother’s health. After a long discussion they returned to Bat and said that he should visit the Sun, for he was the greatest healer and if anyone had medicine then it would be him.
Sadly Bat returned to his mother’s side and told her what the birds and the animals had told him. Bat’s mother smiled at him and whispered, ‘I am old and my time has come, so stay with me. The Sun is a long way off.’
But Bat was determined.
‘I will save you Mother,’ he said and flew off to the East to greet the rising sun. All day he flew on and on. The Sun had risen and set many days before Bat arrived at his palace. Exhausted, he bowed down before the Sun and pleaded for medicine to heal his mother. The Sun beamed on him and said that with his all seeing eye, he had watched Bat’s mother die. Bat was angry. 
‘Why didn’t you save her? Everyone says that you are the greatest healer.’
The Sun continued his radiant smile. 
‘I can heal many things, but there is no cure for old age. Return to your home and bury your mother Bat.’
Bat flew off in a rage and was home in a few days, crying over the body of his mother. He knew that is was time to lay her in the Earth and so called on the birds to come and help him bury her. The birds came and gathered around Bat, but when they went to take up her body they hesitated and turned to each other.
‘We cannot bury her,’ they announced, ‘she is not one of us.’
‘What do you mean?’ asked Bat. “When she was alive she inhabited the skies like you. See her beautiful wings.’ 
‘But look at her teeth!’ they said in horror. ‘She is a beast and they are our sworn enemies. We will not touch her.’
And with that they flew off.
Bat then went to the animals and asked them to come and help bury his mother.
The beasts all gathered around and commented on the softness of her fur, the largeness of her ears and the delicacy of her teeth. However when they went to take up her body they hesitated and turned to each other.
‘We cannot bury her,’ they announced, ‘she is not one of us.’
What do you mean?’ asked Bat. ‘You just remarked on her beauty.’
‘But look at her wings!’ they said in horror. ‘She is a bird and they are our sworn enemies. We will not touch her.’
And with that the animals walked away, leaving bat to bury his mother by himself.
For many days Bat mourned the death of his mother, the Sun’s inability to save her and the cruelty of the birds and the animals in refusing to help bury her. He sat by himself on the branch of a tree and because he was so tired from the long flight to the Sun and grieving, he fell asleep and moved from being perched upright to roosting upside down. His strong claws clung on to the branch and when he awoke it was night time. He was pleased to not look upon the face of the Sun and he decided that from now on he would sleep during the hours of daylight. This also meant he no longer saw most of the birds and the animals. To this day this is how Bat lives. 

 

 

Bat Facts:
They are the only mammals that can fly, and it is this unique ability that has dictated every feature of their bodies: their small size, light- weight construction, winged fingers and reduced pelvis. They hang upside-down to make launching into flight easier, and turn upright to defecate and urinate. They give birth while clinging to the roost with their thumbs and feet, and use their wings and tail to catch the newborn. Bats are agile.
There are more than 1,100 species of bats worldwide, in two main groups: megabats (flying foxes or fruit bats) which eat fruit, blossom and nectar and roost in trees in large groups called camps; and microbats, which are mostly insect-eaters. Insect-eating bats play an important role in the natural control of insect populations.

Story Sources:

The story of Bat and Sun from The sacred door and other stories: Cameroon folktales of the Beba

 By Makuchi, Isidore Okpewho Ohio University Press, United States 2008

Earthtales: Storytelling in times of change by Alida Gersie, Greenprint imprin Merlin Press London 1992

Why Bat Hangs Upside Down A Laotian Folktale

Bat

The Cow Tail Switch

A few nights ago I received news of a friend’s celebration of her rebirth. After a year of seemingly unrelated symptoms, she was finally diagnosed with a brain tumour and immediately operated on. The tumour which covered 80 % of the left half of her brain was not cancerous and her survival was declared miraculous by the surgeon. Hence the celebration of her ‘second birthday’. After my initial shock at hearing of her experience and the relief of knowing her prognosis was positive, I considered her gift to me; her story. The stories of other people’s lives serve as inspiration, counsel and caution in the living of our own lives. Her parting words to me in her email were, ‘Look to the future but live in the present.’

So often we simply exist without gratitude. We waste our time, we hide our talents, we take each other for granted. I am so grateful to my friend for sharing her story, for it serves to remind me that Life is a gift to be cherished always. 


The Cow-Tail Switch
Once upon a time in a small village in West Africa, there lived a hunter with his wife and seven sons. One day the hunter went into the forest alone to hunt and did not return at nightfall. His family wondered why he did not come back. They talked about it for some days, but after a while when he didn’t come back, they stopped talking about it. 
Then one day his wife gave birth to another son. As he grew older he began to talk, and when he could talk, the first thing he said was,  “Where is my father?”

 “Good question”, the others replied.
 “He should have come back a long time ago.” 
Another son said, “Something must have happened to him. We should go looking.” 
“But where will we find him?” Asked another son.
   “I saw him go.”  One son said, “If you follow me, I can show you the trail he took.”
And so the sons followed the trail. Finally, in a clearing, they found the bones and rusted weapons of their father. He had obviously been killed by some great beast. 
Another son stepped forward. “I can put his bones together.
And he did.
Another son said, “I know how to cover the skeleton with muscle and flesh.”
And he did.
Then another son said, “ I can put blood in his body.” 
Another said, “I can put breath into his body.” 
With this the hunter began to breath. 
Then another son said, “I can help him to move.”
And he did. The hunter then got up and stretched his bones. 
Then another son said, “I can give him the power of speech.”
 With this the hunter said, “Let us go home.”
They went home and the hunter’s wife gave him a great feast inviting everyone in the village. In celebration of his return, the hunter made a switch from the tail of a cow and decorated it with cowry shells. Everyone wanted it.

 After the feast, the hunter called for silence.
 “I would like to give this beautiful cow-tail switch, to the one most responsible for bringing me back to life.”
Immediately there was an uproar as each brother had an opinion.

    “It is surely me,” said the son who showed his brothers the path that helped them to find their father.

     “But without me he wouldn’t have come back to life”, said the one who laid out the bones.
 “Breath is more important than bones,” said another son.
 “What is life without movement?” said another. 
On and on they went. Finally the hunter called for silence. 
“I will give this cow-tail switch to my youngest son,” he said. “For he was the one who remembered me. It is said, that a person is not truly dead, until he is forgotten.”  
 The Cow-Tail Switch – A folktale from Liberia Collected by Harold Courlander and George Herzog (New York: Henry Holt & Co. l947).

 

Photo A Life by Roman W Schatz
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The Lion’s Story

One of the most important outcomes of the Women’s Liberation Movement was the public telling of ordinary women’s stories by the women themselves. In addressing issues of violence, women ‘spoke out’ not only against the injustice of institutionalized violence, advocating simultaneous legal and social changes to prevent acts of violence and punish the perpetrators, they also told of their own personal experiences as victims of violence. 
History has traditionally been written by the victors. Socio-political movements such as the Women’s Liberation Movement and Civil Rights Movements play an important role in redressing the bias of history, by presenting the stories of the oppressed, the victims, the marginalised.
It is necessary to know whose story is being told and who is telling it to glean a balanced perspective on what is portrayed as ‘truth’.  
The Lion’s Story

One day a boy asked his grandfather a question. “Grandfather, is it true that the lion is the king of the jungle?”

“Yes,” said the Grandfather, “it is true.” 

But the boy was shook his head in disbelief. “But Grandfather, if this is true then why are all the stories about how the lion is defeated by the hunter?”

The Grandfather smiled and answered the boy. “That will always be the way, until the lion tells the story.”

This proverb has provenance among many African peoples. In this instance it is attributed to the Ewe-mina people in Benin, Togo and Ghana. ‘Until Lions have their own historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter.’ (Igbo, Nigeria). ‘Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be the heroes.’ (Kenya and Zimbabwe).
Photo: Until I Tell My Story by Roman W Schatz
Sadeye

Famines are caused by Wars


It’s not our fault that there is an eight year drought in the Horn of Africa and farmers cannot grow any crops. We try and help by sending money to various aid agencies so that they can buy and distribute food to relieve hunger. We try not to look too closely at the images of starving children periodically shown on our TV screens. It’s too upsetting. But it does serve to remind our own privileged children how lucky they are to be living here in the land of plenty. We become our parents and grandparents saying the stock phrase: Think of the starving children in… (substitute whatever African country is undergoing a famine at the time). We come to believe that tragic as they are, these famines are inevitable in African countries. We wonder why those poor people don’t just leave and go to a country where the weather is more predictable?

It is convenient for the Western world to blame the weather for the famine in the Horn of Africa. We have little control over its machinations, often relegating it to the realm of fate or God or whatever belief helps us to rationalise it. But if you examine every famine that has occurred  throughout the world, in the twentieth century, you will see that war was either a direct cause of it, or exacerbated by it. The Horn of Africa famine is no different.

Famines are created by wars and greed. It is convenient to put the blame for a war solely on the actions of countries where it is being waged. However, there are a number of countries and organisations who are involved in supporting the wars in Africa, and are thereby instrumental in causing the famine. 
Their actions range from providing economic, political and military support for particular Somali or Ethiopian leaders, to the forced acquisition of farmers’ lands. There are armaments manufacturers and dealers, overt and covert training of defence and guerilla forces and the sanctioning of death squads. 

It is naive to think that a situation where ten million people are now at risk of starvation occurred overnight. We have known this is a possibility. History tells us so, even if our reasoning for why this is happening may have been faulty. But how am I responsible?
I didn’t steal the traditional land that farmers grew their crops and grazed their animals on. 
I didn’t shoot the civilians who demonstrated for democracy, land rights and safety.
I didn’t know about the death squads, government corruption or violence.
I didn’t block food aid to the hungry.
But I have shares in the the companies that did.
I am a member of the organisations who did. 
I patronised the groups who did.  
I voted for the governments who sanctioned these actions.
I find it too difficult to comprehend, so I am ignoring it.
In these ways we are all responsible for the famine. But it is not too late to take responsibility for alleviating the plight of the victims of war and hunger?
Act with Compassion and Truth. Speak out about the role of your people or government in creating and sustaining the conditions for a famine to exist. 
Investigate the most effective organisation for giving aid and examine what form it takes, particularly when aid is blockaded or stolen. 
Lobby for an end to war and the business of war.
Peace is no mere matter of men fighting or not fighting. Peace, to have meaning for many who have known only suffering in both peace and war, must be translated into bread or rice, shelter, health, and education, as well as freedom and human dignity – a steadily better life. If peace is to be secure, long-suffering and long-starved, forgotten peoples of the world, the underprivileged and the undernourished, must begin to realize without delay the promise of a new day and a new life. 
Ralph J. Bunche (1904 -1971) Nobel Peace Prize recipient
Photograph by Roman W. Schatz
Corn