Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Children of the Universe

I had a chat the other day with my sister in which I have expressed my continuing dissatisfaction with the service Dylan is getting at childcare (probably the subject of a near future post).
She said that in Israel there was this exposure of a multitude of childcare carers that systematically abused the children they were supposed to take care of. It wasn't sexual abuse (which is all people seem to be thinking about when it comes to children), but rather plain physical abuse: the children were beaten up. My sister concluded by saying that she finds it unimaginable that people would do such things to kids.
My answer was that history is full of cases where children were abused. To be honest, I don't understand the morals that allow grown ups to be abused while considering children as something more elaborate; aren't grown ups just children who lived longer? Anyway, my sister repeated that children are a special, unfathomable, case.
So I pointed her towards the story of the Israelites' exodus, in particular the bit of the story where god comes down in person to kill all the Egyptian firstborns. I reminded her that every Pessach (that's Passover for you), she, as a Jew, has this ritual where she reads the story of god killing all the Egyptian firstborns, babies included, and then goes off to say how great god is.
Children have been abused throughout history. If we stick our head in the sand and celebrate abuse, we're doomed. If we let ourselves become aware of that and use our minds to learn from history, we might prevent cases of future abuse.

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