Greatest fault in being human

Ellie Betteridge-Garvey and Teirnan

Ellie Betteridge-Garvey and Teirnan

“I stare at the TV numb to the soul; so much hurt and anger in this world we call a home. A little boy washed ashore, his life is at its end; and I have been shaken to the core.” Ellie Betteridge-Garvey’s song lyrics capture the sentiments of millions of people around the world.

BY Ellie Betteridge-Garvey*

I stare at the TV
numb to the soul;
so much hurt and anger in this world we call a home.
A little boy washed ashore,
his life is at its end;
and I have been shaken to the core.

I feel so damn
helpless in my lounge room
a whole world away.
If I could have
put my arms around him
I would have any day.
He was a pearl, a diamond,
and we didn’t look after him.
This must be the greatest fault in being human.

I wish I could protect them,
I wish I could save them,
from the hatred that has driven them
from their own homes.
But I’m not God
and I don’t know how to reach across an ocean, oh oh!

I feel so damn
helpless in my lounge room
a whole world away.
If I could have
put my arms around them,
I would have any day.
They are pearls and they are diamonds
and we didn’t look after them.
This must be the greatest fault in being human.

There’s a fire burnin,
black smoke rising up;
someone speaks with hatred in their hearts instead of love.
They don’t see the damage the racism and islamaphobia does;
so I hang my head in shame that this is the human race.

I feel so damn
helpless in my lounge room
a whole world away.
If I could have
put my arms around him,
I would have any day.
He was a pearl, a diamond,
and we didn’t look after him.
This must be the greatest fault in being human.

Oh God there has to be some hope,
even for those who want to turn a blind eye.
Promise me we will find a place and a time where our hearts start beating as one;
with the only driving force being that of love.

I feel so damn
helpless in my lounge room
a whole world away.
If I could have
put my arms around him,
I would have any day.
He was a pearl, a diamond
and we didn’t look after him.
This must be the greatest fault in being human.

Oh God, there has to be some hope for us
I couldn’t bear to watch a little boy washed ashore.
You know, he had so much more to give to this world, ohh ohhhh!

* Ellie Betteridge-Garvey was raised by Good Samaritan Sister Diana Law and educated at Lourdes Hill College, Brisbane. She has already graduated in the top 16 per cent of the Applied Science Faculty of the University of Queensland and is nearing completion of her second degree, while simultaneously completing a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care. She is following her ultimate dream of breeding Straight Egyptian Arabian horses so as to give back to society, by sharing her love of horses and all things natural to children, in the hope of enriching their lives so that they too may experience a deep connectedness with the earth, our one common home.

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The Good Oil, September 15, 2015. If you would like to republish this article, please contact the editor.

One Response to “Greatest fault in being human”

  1. Marie Casamento says:

    Ellie what a poignantly beautiful poem that both reflects our frustration and challenges us to action. Thank you Marie

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