Learning What Matters

Parents brought children to the occupation in Ottawa. They set up camp on a main thoroughfare, in front of apartment buildings and retail shops, and obstructed the lives of others. They honked their big rig horns, left their diesel engines running day and night, and set up barbeques, and food tents, and bouncy castles, and even a hot tub. They blasted music and partied late. They set off fireworks in the middle of it all, with fuel and propane cans in clear sight. All in below zero weather.

In the midst of it, one image stands out to me the most. A bare chested man, wearing a Canadian flag as a cape, dances through the crowd, beer in hand, whooping and hollering. Behind him, just barely in sight of the camera’s scope, is a small child, no more than three. A little pink snowsuit pushing her way through the sea of adult legs, trying to keep up with her Daddy.

“Children thrown into these situations learn that there is something more important than them to their parents,” a child psychologist comments when asked about the well being of children in the crowd. “They internalize it and conclude that there is something basically flawed in themselves.”

I know the feeling too well. My inner child wants to offer that child a hand and lead her out of there.

(Image my own)

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

29 thoughts on “Learning What Matters

  1. This is quite common in my country as well.
    Young minds been bombarded with all the maturity of these troubled times, whether they like it or not.
    And this is exactly the reason, I keep myself miles away from all sorts of political shenanigans.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These are confusing times and people are going to do things without considering the circumstances. Protests and unruly crowds are not a place where children should be. The world is going through a phase of stupid is as stupid does.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I cringe when I see children at scenes like this. How confusing and scary. The trauma doesn’t leave them. Maybe morph into nightmares of chasing and fear. My inner child seems to always be on alert and I’d want to swoop in too. Your image is stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A wake-up of a post – I do not personally go to protests, had never considered whether children would – a new angst to associate with my conflicted thoughts on “organized protest”. Using children to deter police feels incredibly cruel, whether or not the children are aware in the moment of their vulnerability.
    Your artwork is beautiful – like looking through a veil of foggy circumstance.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. VJ, as Oscar Hammerstein wrote in the play/ movie “South Pacific,”

    “You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late
    Before you are six or seven or eight
    To hate all the people your relatives hate
    You’ve got to be carefully taught”

    The converse is also true. What do we want to teach our kids and grandkids? Keith

    Liked by 1 person

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