Sunday, September 10, 2006

"Citizenship" & Spirit Children

Emily had a dreadful night last night with a raging temperature and lots of semi-delirious whimpering. In true Emily style, however, this morning she made a miraculous recovery and set off to karate with Daddy as if she was perfectly fine, lol. She always suffers much worse in the evenings and nights, though. Suppose most people do.

Anyway, she enjoyed karate very much, although George had forgotton to bring her uniform. This afternoon Emily and I went off to a Cats Protection League open day, which was very nice indeed, and Emily couldn't wait to part with some of her cash for a cause close to her heart.

This afternoon while I've been working Jon and Emily have been watching two DVDs about the life and death of Princess Diana, and Emily's been reading this DK Biography of Diana. She started being interested in this a couple of weeks ago when she was watching one of the conspiracy theory it-was-definitely-murder type documentaries with me one evening as I sat doing the packing. Mind you, she's firmly of the opinion that Diana's death was purely an accident. I'm glad to see she's not susceptible to media hype.

Anyway, the whole Diana thing has prompted much discussion recently about morals and the choices people make, for instance the way Diana courted the media when it suited her and then complained bitterly about it later or the way in which she married into a lifestyle most of us could never dream of but half the time seemed rather fed up with the publicity that position brought. This also linked in with various things Emily's been told, heard or read recently - for instance, someone mentioned to her that they didn't buy such and such because it was made by a particular company. She asked us about it and we gave her a fair and unbiased answer, explaining why some people choose to boycott that company's products and why we choose not to. We also looked at lots of websites giving BOTH sides of the argument and left Emily to make up her own mind. Various other multinationals, tuna, car drivers, soya, AIDS, the US government, farming, rainforests and taxes also came into the discussions at various along the line, so it was quite interesting ;-))

Speaking entirely personally, we don't tend to get worked up about most of the anti-this, that and the other issues floating around. In my opinion, things in life are rarely that cut and dried, that black and white; issues where I can see a firm, definite, absolutely has to be right conclusion, no-questions-asked, no possibility of the other side having any merit at all...these things are few and far between. It infuriates me beyond measure, though, that if you're not anti-whatever and the person you're talking is, they all too often assume that you're either a) ignorant, b) stupid, c) don't care or d) couldn't possibly have looked into it. The fact that you may be just as well informed as they are but have come to a different conclusion is apparently simply not possible. Sigh. Or maybe I'm just unlucky in my meetings. Mind you, I'm blessed with a husband who can convincingly argue the case both for and against any viewpoint on the planet (would have made a wonderful lawyer if he hadn't turned his back on that particular avenue) so I think his eloquence and fair-mindedness tends to rub off on me too. I do tend to steer clear of most controversial topics in casual conversation, anyway - mainly because I have absolutely no intention of having to justify my own stance but I also don't need the other person to justify theirs. Each to their own. Apparently the national curriculum's citizenship scheme is supposed to teach the ability to look into both sides of an argument before reaching a conclusion and to respect the other person's point of view. Surely any reasonable parent would be doing this in any case?? The fact that this needs teaching at all seems to me to be...well...rather alarming.

Anyway; that particular mini rant over, I'm off to look up the history of the local village school. Jon and Emily came back from tai chi on Thursday with some very interesting reports. The village hall (where tai chi is held) is on the site of the old school. Emily was very "tingly" all the way through and Jon was aware of spirit children running in and out of the lines of people, laughing at the movements and the music; he came back with their descriptions, their names and ages and also the names of two teachers they'd spoken about and details about the heating system in the school. Absolutely kicking myself now that I got him the art course instead of the mediumship course!!

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