President Obama just read the words of a 6-year-old boy who wrote to him after seeing images of a child wounded by the bombing in Aleppo, and if we all thought this way the world would be an infinitely better place.
On Tuesday, Obama gave his final speech to the U.N. General Assembly as President of the United States. He addressed an issue that cannot be ignored: the living, breathing people in Syria who are struggling to survive despite the civil war that is raging around them. The way he did it, though, will bring you to tears. Obama is known for his way with children, so it is fitting that he addressed this issue from a child’s perspective.
Last month, the world hung their heads and cried as they saw images of little Omran Daqneesh, a 5-year-old Syrian boy whose home had been bombed. He was pulled from the rubble and taken to an ambulance, where he sat alone and in shock to wipe the blood from his face while his rescuers searched for the rest of his family.
Omran’s haunting image helped make the tragedies that are unfolding every day in Syria a little more real to rest of the world. This is why people are fleeing. This is why refugees have left their homes in desperation. This one child puts it all in perspective. especially when you realize that he is just one of many.
Little 6-year-old Alex saw Omran’s image too and was so moved that he decided to write a letter the president. Obama read his words to the U.N. on Tuesday. “He said he wanted Omran to come live with him and his family,” the president began.
Since he won’t bring toys,’ Alex wrote, ‘I will share my bike, and I will teach him how to ride it. I will teach him addition and subtraction. My little sister will be collecting butterflies and fireflies for him. We can all play together. We will give him a family and he will be our brother.'”
Obama continued, pointing out that this small child “teaches us a lot.”
The humanity that a young child can display, who hasn’t learned to be cynical or suspicious or fearful of other people because of where they’re from, or how they look or how they pray, and who just understand the notion of treating somebody that is like him with compassion, with kindness.”
“We can all learn from Alex,” the president concluded. “Imagine the suffering we could ease, and the lives we could save, and what our world would look like if seeing a child who’s hurting anywhere in the world, we say, ‘We will give him a family and he will be our brother.'”
What a world that would be, indeed. Watch President Obama address the U.N., here:
Featured image via video screen capture