This is not the kind of post I would normally do, but then I have come to realise that there is not a lot about me that is normal so perhaps this post is exactly like me.
Today I desperately felt the need to restore my faith in humanity as this morning it hit an all time low. Last night I turned off the news when I saw the report on the bombings, not only did I hate to see humans once again destroying each other, but I didn’t want my young nephews to see it – I do everything I can to protect my nephews and nieces from experiencing violence in the vain hope that it makes some difference so they will do better in their generation than any of the ones before them. Then today I read this article that reports locals setting up a “cinema” of sorts on a nearby hill and eating popcorn and cheering when the bombs landed, even taking pictures of each other grinning giving a thumbs up as bombs went off in the distance.
Please note that I am not trying to make any statement about the bombings themselves or the situation in this part of the world, that is not at all my aim in this post.
My aim is to express my complete and absolute disgust that anyone would sit there, eat popcorn and get their jollies by watching people be murdered, what the f#@k is wrong with you people? I’m sure there is a word or condition to describe you accurately, but I can’t currently think of anything better than “sick” and I don’t truly believe they are worth more than a four letter word so I am not going to bother spending time trying to think of anything better.
So today I have spent some of my lunch time at work trying to re-inflate my faith in humanity, I have done this in a couple of different ways; by re-reading the post I did the other day on Sir Nicholas Winton who is a complete hero. Special thank you to the publishing company for sending me this kind message after reading the piece I wrote:
Seriously it seems that everyone who has anything to do with this man is completely lovely! Could being a truly good person be contagious I wonder?
Then I spent some time on good ole YouTube looking for further proof that there are still good humans out there.
Part of the reason I started this blog was to share; share things I knew, things I tried, things I have learned and things I think and feel. Nice and broad isn’t it, pretty much gives me a license to write whatever… oooh the glee.
When I was in High School we learnt about the Holocaust… a LOT, please don’t get me wrong I think that the Holocaust was one of the most disgusting and depraved things humans have ever done to other humans and I do believe it is important that youth are taught about it. If they do not learn of our horrific failures in our past, how can they learn from our mistakes to hopefully prevent this ever happening again? What I didn’t value about the curriculum was the fact that we learnt about it for over a semester for 3 years running and for the most part we were shown horrific videos and images that are scarred into me until this day. I am not ashamed to say that I cried during some of these videos, they were that awful. I think it is important that we were shown these images so that we have no doubt of the terror of that time, but we didn’t need to see it multiple times. I would have liked to learn a lot more about some of the people that did whatever they could to help in a time where so many people needed it.
One of these people is Sir Nicholas Winton, if you have never heard of him it is time you did. Nicholas was 29 when he organised the rescue of 669 Czech children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia during the 9 months before war broke out in 1939. Those children have grown up and had children of their own and now have grandchildren and great grandchildren, approximately 6000 people in the world today owe their lives to this man, giving the gift of so many lives perhaps he is the real Saint Nick.
Nicholas was living in Britain at the time and when a friend told him of the problems there he travelled to Prague for a two week holiday. He set up a small office there to meet with people that wanted to get their children to safety. Nicholas wrote for help to many countries, but only Great Britain responded offering assistance, even with their promise of aid the action was painstakingly slow and Winton and his colleagues were running out of time. To save the children they forged documents such as visas, this increased the risk they were taking, but at that point they felt there was no other choice.
8 trains full of children successfully made it to Great Britain where families were waiting to care for them. A ninth train with 250 children on it did not make it out of Prague, the children were on the train, but war was declared and transportation was suspended.
Winton is very humble and thus for many years not many people knew what this amazing man had accomplished against all odds. One day Winton’s wife found a scrapbook in their attic, it had the name of every child he had rescued, who their parents are and the families they had been placed with. 80 of these children were found to still be living in Britain, they were brought together in 1988 during an episode of the BBC program That’s Life. Winton had no idea that the audience was full of the people he had saved and describes it as one of the most emotional experiences of his life.
Sir Nicholas Winton has recently celebrated his 105th birthday! Congratulations Saint Nick, I hope you have many years of joy ahead of you.