|Written by Nury Vittachi|
|Friday, 09 September 2011|
ARRGGHH! My kids have started reading the newspapers and watching the TV news. What a pain! That means I have to constantly explain things to them. “Er, the lady is swinging around a pole because she’s a firefighter and they slide down poles to get to their fire engines. Why the bikini? Well, when you fight fires, you get really hot.”
When the latest rocket fight broke out in Palestine, I thought that would be a tough one to explain. But to my surprise, it wasn’t. This intrigued me—the world’s most intractable problem was de-constructed instantly by kids.
The next time I was doing a discussion on a school visit, the same thing happened again!
One child immediately saw what was wrong AND how to fix it. Kids are amazing.
So here are the answers as a handy 10-point plan that UN negotiators can stick on the wall of the peace process meeting rooms.
I call it “How A Child Solved The Middle East Problem.”
1) If you both want the same thing, you have to SHARE.
2) Even if the other person won’t share, you still can’t hit him.
3) If the other person hits you, hitting him back will just make it worse.
4) Sitting on something that belongs to someone else does not make it yours.
5) If something can’t be shared, then you have to take turns with it.
6) Saying “It’s mine now” doesn’t mean it’s yours forever.
7) Saying “I got it first” doesn’t mean you’ll have it last.
8) If you can’t sort it out yourselves, ask a teacher for help.
9) When the teacher says something, you have to do it even if you don’t feel like it.
10) If you really want to stop the other person being an enemy, give him some candy.
Short, simple and brilliant.
Okay, UN Special Co-ordinator for the Middle East, our kids have done their bit: the next step is up to you.