Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Together, Forgive, Change, Listen

Yesterday I got to tell my 6 year old niece and 3 year old nephew the story of four great men.

Once upon a time there was a man named Albert Lutuli. He lived at a time when lots of people got treated very badly. They were all very worried about their own problems but didn't see that other people were having problems too. Albert and his friends were part of  a group that brought all the people who were being treated badly together so that they could try talk. He was a teacher but he became a politician to try help people sort out the way they were forced to live separately. He was given a prize for helping people solve problems without fighting.

The next man's name is a little funny like a ballet dress. He is Desmond Tutu. He always makes people laugh and is bursting with joy. He is very good at talking to people and helping them deal with tough times. He also fought against the people who were trying to stop people from living, working and playing together. He also did it by asking them questions that were hard to answer without them realising they were being silly. He also asks people hard questions when they are normally good because sometimes we don't know we are doing things that we shouldn't. He thinks we are all really goodies and can all be better and his laugh is always just around the corner for those who say sorry. He also won the prize.

The next two men got the prize together. The first one got called by two letters instead of a full name. He was known as F.W. and was in charge of the group of people that were being naughty. He started to speak to the fourth man, and realised that the country he loved needed to change. To stop being naughty, he had to do some important things. It wasn't easy and not all of his friends agreed with him. Some wanted to carry on being naughty. Even the goodies thought that maybe they couldn't trust him. With the help of the fourth man, he did help make South Africa better so that everybody could live and play together.

Sometimes we are lucky enough to get a very special person come and help us when we really need it. It had been a very long time of people being naughty. Lots of people had tried to get everyone to play together but it just wasn't working. One of those people was named Nelson Mandela, but people liked calling him Tata Madiba which is a name for a grandfather and a name that tells him how much people loved him. They loved him so much because he was put in a prison by the baddies for a very, very long time. 27 years. But when he came out, instead of being cross and telling everyone to fight, he tried to get everyone to work together. Fighting doesn't solve anything. Madiba would talk to all the baddies. He would listen to them properly so he could understand them. That was the only way they could become goodies.

There are still lots of people fighting, but if we come together like Lutuli, laugh & forgive like Tutu, change like F.W. and listen like Madiba, there are no problems we can't solve.

A statue of the four South African Nobel Peace Laureates 

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