I know that Mr Abbott, and his staff, have some pretty important work to do.
They are busy doing things like making us look silly in front of the Indonesian government by ‘forgetting’ where we are allowed to drive our boats the same week we complain A LOT about the Indonesian government letting boats come into “our” waters.
They also seem to be super busy teaching our kids that promises are just words you say to get elected and then disregard…. and they are busy doing this whilst cutting funding to schools and universities thus limiting the places that might teach our kids that it is not okay to break promises….
I know the man is busy, but I need them to do something for me – actually what I am going to suggest might save them some work.
Mr Abbott….. You need to listen to my kid.
Now I am going to go global….
Mr Obama – you need to listen to my kid.
Ms Windsor – you need to listen to my kid.
Kanye West…. You REALLY to listen to my kid.
I got to be thinking about this again yesterday on the way to school. I was playing “Million Voices” a track performed by Wyclef Jean for the Hotel Rwanda sound track, which sparks a whole line of questions from my son Mandela – which made me go “Oh. Sorry son, we – the adults of the world – STUFFED UP.”
Mama, where is Rwanda?
It’s a tiny country in the middle of Africa, next door to Burundi.
Why is that man singing about it with children?
He is singing about how he doesn’t know why there was a war there.
Is he sad?
Yes, he is sad because people got hurt.
Why did people get burned there? (One line in the song “I wish I didn’t get burned in Rwanda…”)
When he says “burned” he just means “hurt”
Were the children in the war?
Yes, there were lots of people.
Why was there a war?
Two groups of people were fighting because they thought their group was better than the other group – and they wanted to more power than the other group of people.
Did the people look different?
Not really – maybe a little bit…just like you and I.
God makes everyone look different you know…
Which one was the goody and who was the baddy?
No one was the goody or the baddy Mani – there were some bad people who made money selling the guns and making people fight. But mostly the people were just frightened and wanted to go to school and be with their Mama’s like you do.
Why did people get hurt there? Why didn’t the army save the children?
I don’t know – maybe not enough people knew about the war, and they didn’t know how to stop it.
But Mama – I saw the war on the news. It is in Syria now.
Yes, that’s true – there is a war in Syria. That is very sad too.
Was Rwanda in the news?
Yes, Monkey it was.
So you knew the children were in the war?
Yes darling, we knew.
So why didn’t the army stop the war and look after the children?
I don’t know Mani. I think we made a mistake.
It’s okay Mama. Just try not to do it again.
Well Mandela, your innocence broke down a global government failing fairly simply. You knew kids were suffering and you did nothing. Try not to do it again. Mandela, Mama can make a commitment not to be silent in the face of genocide – and Inshallah – God willing – enough of the other Mum’s and Dad’s out there will pressure governments to make sure the world never again turns it’s back on children in need – like those we neglected in Rwanda.