Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Lessons from the past?

On my way home from the sea festival I passed this plaque about the Kindertransport.



My grandad worked on the SS Prague which brought the first 196 children over to Harwich on 2nd December, 1938. Most of those first children were from an orphanage. Thousands more followed.

“The oldest were 16 years. A few were babies carried by older children. None were accompanied by their parents.”

The other day my 5 year old granddaughter was playing in the park. She met a little boy who had a pair of nunchucks and it turned out they were both huge fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The nunchucks had been broken and the little boy gave one to her to play with.

The little boy was Danish and didn’t speak a word of English. But they played together for over an hour. I can remember my children playing with children of other nationalities without any of them understanding a word of what the others were saying.

You can’t turn on the news now without seeing more atrocities, more children being killed. You can’t go on Facebook without someone or other posting that this side is in the right or that side is in the right.

As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to killing children there is no right.

Nelson Mandela said, “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”


I am not posting this to get in an argument with anyone. I just feel that those in power seem to learn nothing from the past and it saddens me that people are falling out over which side to “support” while children die and those that survive learn to hate.

19 comments:

  1. I agree that killing children isn't ever right. Killing adults isn't a whole lot better.

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  2. I echo your thoughts Teresa - a newborn is a bundle of innocence and trust with a need to love. None comes armed with a machine gun or a need to kill. I always think a newborn looks wiser than anyone we know, knows more than any of us and it is only as we grow, that we forget. It is so sad how some young children are turned into soldiers - of course they will grow up believing they are right and fighting a good cause - if they grow up at all. An emotive subject but one that we'd all like to have the power to solve. x

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    1. It is strange and rather wonderful isn't it, that wisdom in a newborn's eyes x

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  3. Teresa, how could this thoughtful, sensitive post cause any kind of argument? The Mandela quotation is spot on. Thank you.

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  4. It really is difficult to understand the need for people to fight each other. We are no more civilised now than we were centuries ago. The sad thing is that we learn nothing.

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    1. Certainly the people in power don't, Maggie. Even those not involved in conflicts are happy enough to arm those who are. If only ordinary people could be left out of it and those who make the decisions made to fight it out amongst themselves x

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  5. Dear Teresa,

    You have profoundly and most eloquently spoke of what I feel. This world in turmoil, the plight of the innocent children and adults, all created by those who need to prove they are right. We know that nobody is right when it comes to innocent bloodshed. What if they gave a war and nobody showed up....

    Hugs and hope,

    Gary x

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    1. That would be good, Gary. No one showing up x

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  6. There is no worse time than when children are suffering, the innocent victims caught up in the utter madness that is war.

    The Kindertransport was an incredible undetaking, saving so many children's lives and giving them hope. I always imagine how dreadful it must have been for their parents when they waved goodbye to them, knowing that they were doing the right thing to send them away from the danger, but not knowing whether they would ever see them again. It's heartbreaking that the Gestapo forbade crying during the farewells at the station in Berlin. xx


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    1. It must have been unbearable, Joanna x

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  7. Having just spent a wonderful day with my two year old granddaughter, I feel so sad for those suffering children caught up in such atrocities. It breaks my heart that the adults don't understand the only way to bring such grief to an end is to stop the tit-for-tat killing.

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    1. They must have such cold hearts, Rosemary x

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  9. It makes me realise what these people must be going through when I look at my own grandchildren. Why oh why is the lesson never learnt?

    I remember seeing the film Lost Horizon. Conway is taken to see the High Lama who tells him they have one rule in Shangri-la: 'BE KIND' - oh my wouldn't the world be a wonderful place then?

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  10. Be Kind! Two little words with huge meaning. If everyone lived by them, the world would be a peaceful place x

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  11. I'm always appalled by man's capacity for hate. we need to teach our children to love.

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