Monday, May 31, 2010

How Long Do We Need Before Act?

This story happen few months back while I was sitting in the park. From the bench I was sitting on I could see a children’s playground. Most of the kids were running, climbing and generally enjoying themselves. Then I saw a young boy, dressed in expensive looking cloths, playing with an expensive toy.

He seemed to be minding his own business. He paid no attention to the other kids. When they fell over and cried, he continued playing with his toy.
When the rest started fighting he continued playing with his toy as there was nothing happen. Even when the rest of the kids called him and invited him to join them, he just ignored them and continued playing with his toy.

After a while, surly looking child dressed in tattered clothes walked up to the little boy and asked to play with his toy. As usual the little boy ignored him. The bigger boy snatched the toy away from the smaller child and began throwing it in the air. The younger boy stood up and began jumping, reaching into the air in a desperate attempt to get his possession back.

But he couldn’t get it. He begged, he pleaded. He called the other boy rude names. He threw tantrum. He jumped up to grab his toy, but it was always out of reach because the other boy was far taller and more powerful than him.
In the end they began to fight. They rolled on the floor, kicking, punching and biting each other. The scuffle lasted minutes and at the end the toy was broken into pieces. The smaller boy began to cry. He cried so loud and that his mother heard him wailing and come over to ask what was wrong. Once she heard the story she turned around and smacked the bigger boy very hard on his bum and told him to go home, and so the bigger boy went home, sulking all the way.

Later I overheard the mother telling her son that he shouldn’t worry because the other boy just was and educated bully and that h would never amount to anything.
The next day I went back to the park and saw the little boy, again playing with an expensive looking toy. He seemed to be enjoying himself when the bigger boy returned, this time with his father. The bigger boy pointed to the smaller kid. Then he pointed to the kid’s mother, who was sitting on the other side of the climbing frame.

The dad nodded to his son and told him that the mother looked like a stuck up, selfish snob and that this was typical behavior from someone like her. He then walked over to her. After about aminute they began shouting at each other furiously.
“Why did you hit my son? He just wanted to play tool”
“Why don’t you teach your kids some manners?”
“Why is your kid so selfish? Why doesn’t he learn how to share?”
“Your kid is too violent and shouldn’t be allowed to play in here!”

They went on and on and on. Neither was willing to concede and eventually the children began fighting too.

Other people noticed the altercation. Some parents gathered their children up and left the park. Some ran to the mother’s defence. Many did not know the full story, but all had an opinion. And even though all had an opinion, none had a solution. And things just got worse and worse.

I sat and watched. I watched for a long time. In the end I could watch no longer. I stood up and began shouting: “Stop blaming each other!” I cried. “What’s done is done,” I implored. “Stop looking down on each other. Stop being jealous of one another. Parents, set a better example for your children..”

It was then I realized that, not did I sound really cheesy, but that no one was listening. I had sat idle for too long. It was already too late.

If yesterday I had stopped them, this incident could be not happen today.

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