Every event that moves on the road of history will change that road minutely and leave its mark there for as long as history Lasts and that may be forever. In fact it may only be until tomorrow when it will be erased. Despite our technology and intelligence we cannot and may not influence the history of our selves, this world of ours , the planets or the entire universe: History will still move forward and leave its mark in the dust of the road. History also has it moving qualities and the humour which goes with it.
When I was very young, in the early 1950’s, I used to listen in as my parents were discussing the WW2. The deaths, the atrocities and much of what I never understood anyway. A salient fact was that wars were made to kill and that could, to my 4 year old ears, mean killing all those that deserved being killed: this line of thought was generated in a mind which was not mature enough to handle it and its inherent meanings. It was undisputedly meant that people, despite who they are were to be killed. Killing is carried out by using guns. Guns are easy to get because I had a few laying around and some broken. My father called them trash. I was slowly ambling along and placing prints on the road of history. After a long single minded debate I decided that Mrs. Peters needed to be killed so I went to much trouble to sort out my guns and go kill Aunty Peter. Sometimes she gave me sweets and sometimes nothing. She deserved to get shot and killed.
I went to her house and knocked on the door and only later did she open the door and called me inside. She asked me how was I and my mother and I said orait. So she asked me why was I there and I told her I was coming to shoot and kill her. She had a funny smile on her face then started to cry. Then she walked up to me and hit me over the head with her big hand and I fell to the floor with my gun. Later she told me that people must never kill other people because that makes them bad. She also told me that people who are killed can never come back again. She started to cry again and told me that her husband was killed during the war. It was so funny because my mother and father also used to say “During the war” . She wiped her eyes with a hanky and then told me that wars are very bad and people who like wars are bad too. And I wanted to have a real gun and go to war. Mrs Peters told me many stories about the war and always cried.
As I grew up something remained behind and later years it only struck me that wars are bad and bad people kill other good people. Much of this is the thoughts of a small boy who did not understand the world around him. Yet by the love and understanding of an elderly lady his outlook on life changed too. What may have changed some, ever so small? May be history.
When I did go to war I hated it.
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