Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chain Reaction


We were staying in a lovely cabin near the swimming pool in the holiday park.

Every day, for hours on end, there was a group of five, ragged-looking, dark skinned children, who would come to play in the water. They played Marco Polo, they plummeted down the slippery slide, and they played piggie-in-the-middle with a tennis ball.

The youngest of the group was a bit too small to join in most of the games, but she splashed about happily in the shallows with a tattered piece of towelling which seemed to be her favourite toy.

I was amazed at how well behaved these children were – how well they got along together. The older children kept a close eye on the little one, taking turns to come and play with her, opening the pool gate for her when she needed to visit the toilet.

On the third day a new family arrived. They had two little girls, all blonde curls and painted fingernails to match their designer bikinis. They came giggling and prancing to the pool, where they stood at the edge and surveyed the dark children with looks of absolute scorn.

One of the older girls in the pool called out to invite them to join the game, but the speaker for the blonde girls tossed her curls and replied.

‘We don’t want to play your stupid games!’

No, but it seems they had games of their own to play. First of all they focussed on the littlest girl in the group, asking her why was she talking to that smelly piece of towel and threatening to come and take it away from her. When the baby started to cry, her older sister called to the new girls to leave the little one alone. But the blonde girls called back to ask if her mother got the bathing suit she wore from the rag bag at Saint Vinnies?

There followed a volley of name calling, with the blonde girls obviously superior in the art of delivering an insult and calling very heavily on racial slurs to make their point. The oldest boy finally lost his temper and lunged at the blonde girls, sending them screaming and running back to their parents.

The parents of the blonde girls complained to the park manager, who then came and shoo-ed the dark children away, telling them to ‘give some-one else a go’. The blonde girls shrieked and splashed in the water for about ten minutes and then, after a screaming fight with each other, they both flounced off back to their cabin, leaving the pool deserted and strangely silent.

There followed a noisy altercation between the parents of the exiled children and the park manager, and, when that failed to achieve the desired results, another noisy altercation between the parents of both sets of children.

The parents of the blonde girls drew on the same brand of racial vilification used by their daughters to make their point. This incited other park residents to join in with everyone taking sides according to the colour of their skin. Eventually the manager called the Police and there were threats of eviction for several permanent residents as well as some of the tourists.

“You are an integral part of Creation. Your thoughts and actions set off far reaching chain reactions that you cannot fathom.” Cynthia Occelli at LIFE

I guess the parents of the blonde girls thought they had the right to their opinions relating to different races and they had no qualms about passing on these opinions to their daughters. I’m sure they never envisioned their daughters would then take those thoughts and turn them into actions which would totally destroy the peaceful, fun atmosphere of a coastal caravan park.

But that is how war’s start, isn’t it? Chain reactions set off by the promotion of certain ideals and beliefs.

‘Thoughts have power; thoughts are energy. And you can make your world or break it by your own thinking’. ~Susan Taylor~

The trouble is, it’s not just about what your thoughts can do to you. The power and energy of your thoughts and actions extend far beyond your immediate circumstances.
©Lyn Murphy 2011

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"I’m sure they never envisioned their daughters would then take those thoughts and turn them into actions which would totally destroy the peaceful, fun atmosphere of a coastal caravan park."

Oh yes they did. And after the fracas, they instilled more superiority into their children by pointing out what "those people" do.