Close menu

Born Free

Yes, there's a bit of genetic jiggery pokery but when you emerge into the bright lights, you have no idea whether you're white, brown, black, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Jedi, or whether you're destined to support Derby County, Arsenal, Partick Thistle or none of them. You've no idea whether you're going to be someone who lives an abundant life, or someone who plays it so cautiously that they miss out. You haven't decided whether you're a confident or non-confident person, whether you'll take illegal drugs or eat too much cake on a regular basis. You're not born with prejudice or religious intolerance. We're not born to judge or hate.

All of the above are learned behaviours, choices that we make according to the upbringing we have. Let's paraphrase a newspaper story that gives a heart-warming example of how we all start out. In recent times there's been a security crackdown. So airports have become more onerous, often requiring you to step into a glass chamber, legs spayed, arms aloft, as they take some sort of naked picture of you. We don't question it. We do as they ask, hanging onto the glimmer of positivity that the naked picture shows your back passage is clear of heroin and it's more humane than the alternative rubber glove treatment.

This heightened security has spread to concerts and public gatherings. There's a wonderful story about a 4-year old boy who was new to all this. A keen WWF wrestling fan, his dad took him to a big venue where fans were routinely frisked on entry. All of them, even the 4 year olds! The boy wandered through the metal detector, the red light picking out his £1 spending money buried in his pocket. The security guard knelt down to the boy's level and opened his arms, showing the 4-year old what was required. The lad, assuming the best, opened his arms and went in for the full hug.

And that was where the newspaper story ended. Whether security went on to discover a flick-knife tucked into the lad's belt, or a kilo of hash in his socks, who knows?

I'd say it's unlikely because the boy is how we all start out, primed for love, not hate.

comments powered by Disqus

Posted by: Art of Brill