Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Communal caring

One of the things I love about Israel (and I think I've mentioned it before) is the population's great love of children.  When you're walking down the street people really pay attention to your child and will often offer you friendly advice, usually involving piling on more and more blankets until you're suffocating your child.  They're not doing it just because they're being nosy and in your face and trying to get into your business; they're doing it because they want the best for each and every child.  Having gone through the Holocaust, the survivors who made it to Israel put such a high value on each and every life and that value has been passed down to today.

Case in point: today I was patiently waiting on a corner for an old man to complete his turn before I crossed the street.  His window was open and as he turned he called out to me to make sure that L.H. was drinking enough because it was a hot day.  And yes, I know that it's February, but today I was walking outside without any sweatshirt or anything and I was sweating.

But my point is, that would never have happened to me in America.  Here there seems to sometimes be a mentality that each child belongs to everybody, which gives everybody the right to look out for that child's well being.  It can sometimes be annoying when you're out and people are telling you, "don't let her touch that" or "put on her sweater" or "take off her sweater" or "where's her hat?"  As annoying as it is, however, it is also comforting to know that other people truly care.  I just hope that they show equal caring and forthrightness if they see a child who is being neglected and abused.  I can only hope that they speak up then - to save the children.

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