A child sees the deeper truth.
“Mum,” began Fintan, eight, with an infinitely curious gaze, “Why are all the “United” countries, not United?”
The oddness of the question drew her immediate attention.
“The United States,” he continued, in explanation, “and the United Kingdom...they are not united, at all. Look at all the riots...that’s not united!”
She had to admit, he had a point. The countries of the world were just not living up to their names. Just as “Great” Britain, most certainly doesn’t live up to its.
Later on, I explained to him the political history of the United States and the United Kingdom, that gave them their names. He smiled a little to himself, on hearing this. What he was thinking, I do not know. However, I know this: Fintan sees the world more clearly than many a political figure, these days, seems to. It seems such a shame that we name our countries “United” and then fill them with such dissension. In the US, the Republicans and the Democrats are ever at each other’s throats: they can’t make a decision in Congress, without a mini-war about it first. Fintan sees this. He sees that there is no unity of mind, spirit or intention, in the USA. He looks at the UK and sees a nation simmering on the edge of chaos, made manifest in the recent riots. Our world is not a comforting one, for a child to stand witness to. It seems that adults, who should be wiser, are creating a world that seems, even to a child, to be one of fracture, and dissent. If a child sees this, so clearly, why do adults persist in ignoring it? Why is not more done about this? The USA needs a more agreeable way of governing itself – and the UK needs a more civilized way of being...or should I say, it needs to address the uncivilized element within.
I hope the world learns civility and unity, before Fintan becomes an adult and has to deal with it. However, that hope seems hopeless, in a way...for those characteristics have yet to be fully imbibed by any modern society. I wonder, shall they ever?
Posted by Valentine Cawley
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