Diary of a MomFamily Values & Relationships

When You’re Ten


When You’re Ten

I don’t do politics! I consciously don’t do politics. Maybe it’s my way of ensuring that my bubble remains in tact. Maybe I overdosed on it at certain points of my development.. whatever the reasons, I simply don’t do politics.

Back in the bubble last Saturday I had a bricklayer at work on our garage floor. He had been at work for a couple of hours before I noticed that his assistants were two very young boys.  My mind was about to leave the bubble and wander off into issues of child labor and child rights when my son walked in from the beach with two of his friends.  I was grateful to them for dragging me back into the bubble with a conversation about afternoon plans.  Mid discussion he noticed the boys and immediately gravitated towards them. I sat and watched as five 10 year old Egyptian boys engaged in a 20 minute conversation.  I was amazed at the ease with which the five boys socialized. It was as if they had everything in common, and nothing to stop them.. well..to them I guess being ten and speaking the same language is all they need.

I guess when you’re ten you’re not very big on labels.  I suppose when you’re 10 you are oblivious to the fact that where you’re born determines in large part where you end up.. When you’re ten, you envy the ten year old you just met for not fasting.. but you don’t see that the reason they don’t fast is because their physically grueling job necessitates it.

When you’re ten unfair is when your brother gets an extra round on the go kart..not when your home gets shelled by fanatics you don’t know.  When you’re ten you don’t notice the BBC choosing to report that an Israeli soldier twisted his ankle in Gaza while hundreds of civilian lives are being lost..also in Gaza.

Yes, when you’re ten you are oblivious to the fact that where you’re born determines where you end up: had the Bricklayer Boys been born into a different family they might have been chasing waves with my children.

When you’re ten you don’t know that where you are born dictates how much your life (and consequently your death) matters.  All hell breaks loose when a Texan whack job guns down 30 kids in their classroom. Yet, 30 kids probably die every hour in Gaza these days and somehow it doesn’t seem to matter. Had the Gazan boys been born elsewhere their deaths would not have gone unnoticed.

When you’re ten you can’t fathom that the color of your passport opens doors to airports around the world, and even to schools in certain parts of the world. Yes- the color of your passport opens doors to the inaliable human right of education.

When you’re ten you can’t spell ‘discrimination’.  Some kids will learn to spell it.. others will sadly continue to live it.

My son and his friends went back to the beach.  The boys went back to work. Meanwhile, I resigned to the fact that my mind had left the bubble.  As always, my journey outside the bubble was not a pleasant one. It reminded me of the injustice that has become the hallmark of our world. It reminded me of the injustice I can afford to turn a blind eye to, just because I happen to born on the right side of it. It reminded me of the reasons I don’t do politics.  It reminded me that on some levels, I choose to remain as oblivious as a ten year old. My heart and prayers go out to those that don’t have that choice.

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