The Brighter Side of the Fence
The last few years have been quite an eventful and often stressful time for our little family, it seems like luck and fortune just weren’t with us on many occasions and obstacles kept on getting in the way of moving ahead with our lives in a positive, productive way. Ironically it has also been one of the best times of our lives, welcoming our daughter into the world and watching her grow into a delightful, inquisitive and sweet little girl and living in a quiet, rural town surrounded by lovely countryside, safe in the knowledge that we will never go hungry or have to face the turmoil that many families the world over experience every day.
I sat watching Rabbit Proof Fence earlier this week, a movie about 3 young Aboriginal Australian girls who where taken from their mother to be placed in a religious school to be re-educated to lose their tribal ways and language. It was pretty common practise at one time and thousands of families were torn apart, never to see each other again because of this idea that the kids would be better off adopting a foreign culture and religion. This is just one of example of many injustices imposed on innocent people throughout history, whether it is through deliberate acts of separation or the effects of displacement due to war, kidnapping or parents that have to work abroad to support their families back in poorer nations.
I always wonder how anyone could justify inflicting this kind of cruelty, how do they not understand that all human beings experience the same magnitude of loss and grief no matter how poor they are or where they come from? I know that attitudes to raising families are different everywhere and has also changed throughout the course of time but one thing that is usually a constant is the bond between a mother (and father) and their children, it breaks my heart to think of how many mothers and fathers lived a life of sorrow and loss and how many children were forced into a different and often horrible life, so frightened and so alone.
I think this has more impact on me now that I am a mother too, I can’t even bear to think about facing something that traumatic. I miss my squigglet even when she’s just in bed for a few hours and am already dreading the day she wants to do as I did and go off travelling around the world, without me! Anyway I think the point I am trying to make, is that when I think about these kinds of things going on in the world, I am pretty darn grateful that I live in the 21st century and in a peaceful country (long may it stay that way!).
Sometimes it takes a poignant movie or story to help us appreciate the fortune and blessings we have in our lives and bring us closer to our own emotions, reminding us to show our loved ones that we love them, give lots hugs and smile more than frown. I know its not always easy to look on the bright side, but its so true when people say, it could be worse!