Wednesday, 10 December 2008

International Human Rights Day

Today, I won't be writing about matters of great worth and moment. Neither the Space Programs that will, in the long term, be Humanity's salvation and future, nor the struggle for Human Rights that has taken up so much of my time since May 2005.

I will be writing about something intensely personal: an end-of-year concert where my son, as part of Year 1-2, took part in a chorus with perhaps more enthusiasm than skill, but songs sung from the heart.

He's in the top row, 7th from the left.

I will be writing about how I live in a place, and at a time on this planet where there is, by and large, Freedom of Speech and Expression - at least, unless the current government's misbegotten proposals to "filter" the Internet are adopted. I live in a place where one may carry a Bible - or a Koran - openly, and express one's religion (or lack thereof) openly. I live in a place where there is a decent social security net - imperfect but where no-one starves - and none are denied some minimal access to medical care. Most of all, I live in a place free of fear, where I can blog about controversial subjects without the expectation of having my house firebombed, nor a knock on the door from the Secret Police, nor some nutter who would like to see me exterminated liable to riddle me with bullets. The Four Freedoms.

I live in a place and at a time where I can meet a colleague from Uni, someone who is only vaguely aware of my medical history, and talk about our respective children at the school and talk without shame, just some hilarity at the unusual nature of the situation.

I nearly teared up when the performance, after music and dance from all continents, had a section where children with large red crosses or the words UN gave aid and succour to others. Our ideals are so high, and we sometimes fall so short in reality. 65 years ago, it was not the time to explain to children that our valiant Allies, the Russians, were under a dictatorship differing only in degree, and not kind, from the monstrous Evil that was Nazism. And now is not the time to explain about the pest of Anti-Semitism that infests the International Red Cross, nor the cupidity, ignorance, incompetence and corruption that permeates the various UN relief efforts. They will learn soon enough.

Mostly I just gave thanks that my little boy was there, performing with the rest.
We are One
But we are many
And from all the lands on Earth we come
We share a dream
And sing in one voice
I am
You are
We are Australian
In this context, it's not the many failings that are important. It's the Dream. One we, here, now, in Australia, live. Imperfectly - goodness only knows I know all about that. But more so than not. A happy place.

I guess I wrote about International Human Rights Day after all. A Children's Concert is closer to the Spirit, embodying the Ideals, than all the fine words and posturing of all the UN's politicians put together. And my little son was part of it. I am proud of him, and so very thankful and glad that I was there to witness him singing. It's only Human of course. And it's most certainly Right.


Bad hair days said...

>He's in the top row, 7th from the left.

Ah, the one in white ;-)

Zoe Brain said...

Genau richtig.