Springingtiger's Blog


Children
August 24, 2013, 23:00
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

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My daughter is once more moving to a flat of her own, taking my grandchildren with her. Funny, despite the disruption of having them filling my house, I will miss them all. It has been a wonderful opportunity to get to know our grandchildren, before they moved in with us we didn’t see very much of them and the visits were short. We have been living in the same house for a year and it’s been more fun than I expected.

It has been good getting to know my grandchildren. They are our future and they fill me with optimism. I hope to have many more years on this planet, but there will come a time when I am no longer here; children are our investment in the future of humanity and the education we give them is out assurance of the continuity of our culture.

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Family is the best foundation for our individual well being. Of course there are dysfunctional families, but, ideally one’s family should provide support and encouragement. It’s elders should contribute wisdom and experience, it’s members share resources, above all a family should be the place where love is bigger than the individual or their behaviour. A family should be where children can grow, learn, flourish knowing they are safe and loved. In troubled places, a family should be a fortress, protecting the child from the chaos without. A family should also be a means for the child to meet the outside world safely. However I don’t mean the family should be at odds with the world, unlike the parasitic groups the Conservatives call families, a family should be part of a community.

The Tory attitude to family is seen in the saying, “An Englishman’s home is his castle”. A family is not an alternative to community not a defense against it. The family should be the child’s first model of a mutually supportive and sharing community. The first time I was in India we stopped in a village only to be invited to share in the celebrations for the birth of a grandson, the grandfather was not only celebrating with his family, but with the whole village and, indeed, even passing strangers because the birth of a child is a blessing for us all. Every child is hope for all our futures. Neelam being Indian does not have the English attachment to nuclear families, her family is extensive and, like most Indian families, there is no distinction made between siblings and cousins. In the Indian community one’s children, to an extent, belong to the wider community and neighbours are aunts and uncles in a family that extends beyond a blood relationship. I shall never forget the occasion when my daughter was small when we popped into a shop on Queen Margaret Drive in Glasgow to buy somethin in passing. the shop I saw Sunnis had some small toy and asked her where she got it, she replied, “The auntie gave it to me.” by which she meant the Sikh lady behind the counter, back then she held all Indian adults as aunts and uncles. This world would be a better place were we to recover our communities and our children were free from fear.

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I suspect that one of the reasons Scotland and England have never been entirely easy with each other is that,  in Scotland, the communal sense of the clan system has never been entirely eradicated despite the best efforts of the English. Clan comes from the Gaelic for children, take away the parents and the children cling to each other. What seems to have happened is, that efforts to separate the chiefs from the clans, merely introduced in Scotland a more natural communal socialism than elsewhere, hence making Scotland a natural stronghold of Labour politics. I suspect that, were there no further threat of Conservative rule of Scotland, the Scottish Parliament might not be dominated by the SNP. As long as Scots value community above greed the possibility of Tory rule will keep nationalism alive. It would be good if we could be one big, happy family, but in the meantime we must protect our children, our future from abusers, bullies and thieves.

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