Monday, July 28, 2014

Kids, Ya Gotta Love ‘Em!



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In the Biblioteca


Children are universal creatures. To them culture is not important. Language is not important. Appearance is not important. They understand each other on some basic level at which, as adults we can only marvel. To us, who can never return to that blissful state of naiveté, their enthusiasm is infectious. They are our future. They are our last hope of a united world. So let’s try not to f_ _ k them up!

Where is all this coming from you ask? Well it began with an English class that I began teaching today for a group of kids at the local library, and for some reason I was reminded of my step-son when he was very young. He used to bring his friends home from school, of course, like every other kid. But it struck me one day while a group was visiting, that perhaps I was witnessing the beginning of an era of tolerance.



Alexander McIntosh


The school kids were from a VERY diverse background. There were kids who stemmed from Iran, India, China and a couple of indigenous kids in his group of friends.What was brilliant was that to them, they were just all Canadian. It occurred to me then that if the world were integrating at such a rate, then perhaps I really was seeing the beginning of something wonderful.

That was over twenty years ago. My step-son Alexander, is now thirty years old, married, living in Australia and about to have a child of his own. And what has changed in that time? Not much that I can see. Oh I imagine that the children of the upcoming generation will be raised with more tolerance than those of generations past, due to the integrated upbringing of their parents, but is that enough?

I had completely forgotten my ruminations of that day, many years ago, when I watched Alexander and his friends playing around the pool in our apartment complex in North Vancouver. I suspect I would have been surprised and disappointed to discover then how little the world would have changed in over twenty years.


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Today I looked into the happy innocent faces of these Mexican kids who welcome a different appearance and a different culture with open curiosity and enthusiasm. Oh they are aware that the world is full of haves and have nots, and I am sure it seems to them that the world is conspiring to see that the have nots don’t get any. But still their eyes are filled with joy, hope and expectation and they have yet to develop the biases and bigotries that come with experience. 



Children make me happy!




I can’t help but think of the sad, desperate parents here that send their children north alone in the hope that if they survive the journey, they may have a chance at a better life in the USA. I’m sure it never occurred to them that the kids that actually made it that far would be met with rejection and refused entrance to the great US of A. What kind of a message is that sending the youth of this country? Not to mention the kids in the US.

Many countries in the middle east are still trying to blow each other off the map, Africa is…..I don’t even want to go there, and passenger planes are being shot out of the sky over the Ukraine.

I think it may take several more generations of integration before my naïve expectations of a more tolerant world come to pass. I do still believe, though that our children and our children’s children will be our salvation. That as they interbreed our differences will minimalize. If we can just stop poisoning our kid’s minds long enough for them to accomplish this we may just make it.

As is becoming the norm, all the photographs in this post are courtesy of Todd McIntosh.


  1. Lovely post. As Matilda and Sebastian are totally integrated into the Mexican community through school and play along with speaking Spanish more rapidly then I can, the only difference is that they are blonde and blue eyed while of course their counterparts are black hair and brown eyes. Otherwise, there is no difference to them and I"m so happy to see that.....LOVE the photo of Alexander as a little boy!

  2. It's so true, Barbara, that when they are little there really are no differences between them. They are just kids, and I love that. AJ was cute as a little kid wasn't he?

  3. You get to see one side of children. I am currently watching several children involved in a not-so-lovely activity.

  4. Sadly we see that here too, just like every other place in the world. That is sort of the point. We have a resource here that could make a better world, but we poison their minds and allow them to take the wrong paths.
    Please don't misunderstand that I realize that this is SO much more complicated than I am making it sound. I am really just reminiscing about a naive thought I had twenty some odd years ago, but still feel frustrated by the fact world relations have progressed so little in such a long time.