Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Politics as Poison

How can one talk to a nine year old child about
the fact that his father shot his best friend?

I asked him for his own explanation.
He looked me right in the eye and said:
"I think they have been poisoned,
They have been drinking something that
has been poisoning their brains."

But he suddenly added,
"But now they all are poisoned,
so I am sure it is in the drinking water,
and we really have to find out how
to clean the polluted water."

When I asked him if children were
as much poisoned as adults,
he shook his head and said:
"No, not at all. They have smaller bodies,
so they are not drinking so much,
so they are less contaminated,
and I have discovered that small
children who mostly drink milk,
they are not poisoned at all."

I asked him if he had ever
heard the word politics.
He almost jumped and looked at me and said,
"Yes. That's the name of the poison!"

~Magne Raundalen

Of Note: Out of the mouth of babes Raundalen heard tales of horror. She was a Norwegian psychologist working with children from the war-torn area of Bosnia-Herzegovina. With our concentration on Iraq and Afghanistan, we sometimes forget that there are and have been many areas of strife in the world, all of which mold children's minds in subtle and not so subtle ways. To counter a reality gone painfully amiss, the young make up explanations for the chaos around them. Sometimes fanciful stories, but nonetheless true to them. For this boy, politics was equated to poison. Potentially that belief will influence his thinking for the rest of his life. Warring politicians everywhere, including those in the United States, should take special note of their influence on children and carefully consider their collective responsibility to the generations coming up in the world.

Today's Weather Report: Although we had a light rain shower at 4 am, we have sunshine at this moment. Summer jobs around here are winding down, and the feeling of fall is in the air. The full moon of Virgo rises this evening.