What has happened to the world in which our generation came into – a world of mystery, marvel and fairy tales – where the good always overcame the bad. This, despite the fact that the world had just gone through the most devastating war in world history. The good guys won, as evidenced by the fact that they began the process of rebuilding, not only their own countries, but those, especially in Europe, which had been devastated. The most significant was the Marshall Plan, which in actual fact, benefitted not only the destroyed countries, but those initiating it as well.
In today’s world the good are in retreat once again. But, now there are no fairies, or fairy tales and in many countries, there is little knowledge that they existed. There appears to be only a few good guys or girls to come to the rescue of humanity, much less a fairy princess or prince.
This thought struck me a few weeks ago, when Nyima, my little 5-year-old Gambian “Princess” lost one of her baby teeth. In my naiveite, I suggested that the tooth fairy would give her money if she left the tooth under her pillow. She had no idea about the tooth fairy, or in fact, anything called a fairy, she was suspicious of something coming into the room while she was asleep, even if it was bringing kindness and money. She was a little afraid, even after I showed her tooth fairies on the internet.
I was even more surprised that very few adults here had any knowledge of a tooth fairy or fairies at all.
This was cause for reflection and realization that in reality, our own world of fairy tales and good overcoming bad has been sidelined. Children’s ears and minds are full of war mongering, killing and nasty politicians threatening everything and everyone. And don’t think for a moment that children are not affected by what is happening around them.
Most people, young or old, are fearful of what they don’t know or understand. People everywhere have become numbed and troubled by the constant barrage of bad news, evil doings and false messages being circulated on all forms of media. Youth are becoming afraid, depressed and despairing, leading them to resignation, addiction and even violence – to themselves or others.
Hope is waning, truth is rapidly disappearing and social systems falter under the weight of a world where only wealth and power count. Most of this is controlled by angry old men who want to have it all before they leave this world. In many cases it appears that they also want to take everyone else with them through economic starvation or a total annihilation of the planet.
The hope of the future is vested in the children with their innocence, ability to find life’s mysteries, marvels and good fairies. Since I shared the concept of fairies, little Nyima has been on a quest to find out all she can about them, exploring every tree, rock pile and green area to find one. She also wants books and does her own searches on the internet (with a little help) that give insight into this whole world of wonder called fairies and fairy tales.
Hope for the world has always been vested in the children, and it has been youth that have changed the world. Even in war, it is the youth, manipulated by those older that have to fight the battles.
In our generation, it was the war and its impact on youth that caused the biggest surge in child birth of all time. It was good leaders, with concern for humanity, including the children that developed social programs and support to provide education, income and health care. Many other innovative initiatives and programs were created that afforded innovation, technological development and means for almost everyone to prosper in the developed world.
It appears, as age set in, people became cynical and inward, allowing those in search of wealth and power to take full control. It was then the wealthy and powerful began to take apart one of the most advanced eras of social and economic progress in human history in order to satisfy their own greed and need to have it all.
Ordinary people caved in, abandoning the ideas, institutions and systems (in some instances with good reason) that gave them their prosperity and security in the first place, in favour of allowing those with the most wealth to diminish the world to their own benefit. In essence they have abandoned the children of the world to the banalities of those cynical old men (and some women) seeking full control.
Many of our generation who in the 1950s and 60s protested and rioted to have more input, involvement and some leverage in governance apparently became tired and fell asleep, allowing their freedom and prosperity to slip away from them.
It is time that they awaken and realize their job is not yet complete and their responsibility to their children and grandchildren, even great grandchildren still needs to be fulfilled. They must remember that this responsibility is not only relative to their own families, but to all the children of the world, many of whom have been pushed to the boundaries of existence, even death, by starvation, brutality, and terror in the past few decades.
Perhaps it is time for our generation to remember their own fairy tales and the fairies that hid under every rock, plant and tree just waiting to do good. Maybe it is time to bring the wonder they experienced back into our own lives of all the experiences, happenings and things that could not be seen, felt or touched, but provided happiness and pleasure, if only for a short time.
We need a whole new world full of fairies and fairy tales with little people doing all the good things that little people do that make the world a better more livable place.
This new world would be filled with goodness, kindness and sharing. It would transform the gloom and doom, so prevalent today, into happiness and laughter. It would be a place where wonder is seen in every nook and cranny where the fairies and little people always existed. It would allow every child, even those like little Nyima to live and feel special like the princesses and princes that they are, instead of living in fear; afraid of hunger, poverty and repression, with death lurking on every corner.
If only people could remember that life is a fairy tale, one to be lived, not endured and where all things are doable with a little effort, a lot of push and a strong will. It is possible to become a force for good, quietening those who would marginalize and those who threaten others for the sin of being different.
It is even plausible to take back control of our governments and change their repressive regimes of control. All it takes is for the little people to stand tall once again and show where the real power lies.