Look for the Light in the Dark

If you know anything about Cambodia, you will know about its violent and turbulent past, which is more recent than people realise. The Khmer Rouge subjected Cambodia to a radical social reform process that was aimed at creating a purely agrarian based Communist society. This year two Khmer Rouge leaders, Nuon Chea and Kheiu Samphan, were found guilty of crimes against humanity and responsibility for the deaths of up to 2,000,000 Cambodians, nearly a quarter of the country’s then population, during the “killing field” era between 1975-1979. Visiting the country a few years ago, everyone had their personal story of life under or after the Khmer Rouge, the suffering and survival. When telling their story, they would all get that look in their eyes, of knowledge, remembrance and deep sadness.  Family members they had lost would far outweigh those they had not, memories they had would speak far more of the darkness inherent in the human race than not. However, in stark contrast, they are all some of the happiest people i have ever met. They have all this history that they carry with them, but they move past that to just enjoy life. They have found their light in the darkness, no matter what their circumstances currently are.

While in Cambodia, i took the photo above to show this mindset of peace. The photo shows the beautiful canopy and flowering petals framed by the bright dazzling sunshine peeking through. What you do not see however, is that this was taken on a visit to the Killing fields, where executions took place from 1975-79. If you take a step back, open your eyes, and really look at life, there is always some light shining through the dark. I’m not trying to take away any of the gravity or harsh reality of what these killing fields symbolise, just trying to show, as the ever wise Dumbledore would say; “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.”

See you tomorrow,

Emily Jemma

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