Babies and World Politics

 It’s fun taking my granddaughter to local mother and toddler groups. They’re noisy and full of energy with some infants crawling around while others just run amok. They are very affordable and thoughtfully organised by play leaders and retired women who are grandmothers themselves.  Various play areas are allocated in different parts of the hall where mums, dads and children gather. There is a table set aside for building bricks, another for play-dough then one that’s messy with paint pots and occasional gungy material for them to touch. Large mats are placed on the floor for babies and toddlers to play safely away from the ones on the move with their toys of choice.


Last week it struck me how this innocent gathering can sometimes reflect the world at large when an older child for no apparent reason picked on one of the crawling infants. There was no issue of fighting over a toy or food - a thump just landed on this poor fellow. The victim screamed then the perpetrator’s mother intervened and peace was quickly restored. In the meantime it was business as usual for others in the hall. Children continued to play happily with their toys, carers and parents chatted away oblivious to the altercations in the room, likened to neighbours around the world when caught up in disputes - so often occupied with personal troubles and earning a living to get involved.


In the wider world I find that certain nations behave similarly. Some stay out of conflict or choose to turn a blind eye, whereas others can’t resist poking their noses into situations where they aren’t needed. It’s none of our business to get involved either way and it’s easier to shrug it all off, yet there are those who get a thrill from locking horns with others. Some children are so loving that they share or even give away their toys - I’d like to think that they will turn into the kinder souls of the world. They play happily with what they’re given whilst others act greedily, discontented until they’ve snatched a few toys.


It is perhaps a very simplistic analogy nevertheless there is a pattern to human behaviour that begins when we are toddlers. Being young and cute, children are often not held accountable for their actions yet a handful slip due to any number of reasons, combined with lack of structure and love, these children may force their unhappiness onto others. As with any bad situation, these behavioural patterns can worsen until they negatively affect many people across many nations.


On the other hand, children soon forget and start playing with the same playmate again - there’s a lesson for adults in this.