9/7/2017 9:00:00 AM PERSPECTIVE A child's-eye view
of recent events
A STUDENT AT ST. MARY'S SCHOOL, BALLSTON SPA
BY KIM KLEMENTOWSKI
You probably know me, although you may not realize it. People don't always notice me. I am a sponge; I soak up all that goes on around me. I see and overhear a lot, although I don't always understand.
I wish someone would explain things. It's easier for them to say that I don't need to worry about things yet or that when I get older, I'll understand. Will I?
My brother is in middle school. He's really smart. He told me that the leader of a place called North Korea is threatening to turn us into jelly with a bomb. He said the smoke will eat us up from the inside out and then we'll be jelly.
I wonder if I could still go to school and play outside if I'm jelly, or if I'd just become a blob of sticky stuff that people walk over. My brother just laughs and walks away.
Yesterday, I rode my bike to my friend's house. His dad was talking to a neighbor about some statue that people were upset about down in Virginia. He said the statue had to come down on account of people not liking the history it represented, but that there were people protesting because they wanted it to stay up, and other people protesting because they didn't agree. Fights broke out and people got hurt and died.
I asked why they didn't put the statue in a museum, but then my friend came out and his dad told us to be on our way, so we biked down to the park to meet other friends.
I asked my friend what his dad and the neighbor were talking about. He said that it was about hate. My friend knows all about hate, because people are very mean to his family on account of their religion. His family goes to a mosque, and people have put spray paint on their car and sent them notes that they should leave town. It makes him sad.
His dad says that some people are just not very accepting of things they don't understand. He said if people don't have to put their name on notes, then they don't have to take ownership of them; they can just pretend it wasn't them that did the hurting.
I think that would qualify as a lie or something I would probably get in trouble for.
I guess I don't understand. My friends and I all go to different religious places. One goes to a mosque, one to a synagogue, one to a Lutheran church, and I go to the Catholic church. But it doesn't matter, because we're all friends.
Why can't adults learn to get along as much as us kids do? They tell us that we should be nice to each other and not be bullies, but that's exactly how a lot of adults behave -- like bullies. They think guns and fighting are the way to solve all problems, but they tell us to work things out with our words. It doesn't make sense.
Why do people always have to hurt other people? Why do they post things on Facebook or Twitter that are mean and hurtful? Why don't they put their names on what they write?
Last week at church, someone said my mom was a bad mother because she didn't take my sister out of the church when she was singing. That was a very mean thing to say. My sister is just a baby and she likes to sing, whether there's music or not. Didn't Jesus say, "Let the children come to me"? Doesn't our family have as much right to be in church as everyone else?
Our priest talked about how Jesus left us all a "legacy." I asked my Dad about it. He told me a legacy was something you passed on from generation to generation. He said that Jesus left us a legacy to love one another. He said God is love and love is God.
I asked him what happened to Jesus' legacy, because how can people say they love one another when all we're doing right now is hurting each other?
My Dad said that was a very good question.
(Ms. Klementowski attends Immaculate Conception parish in Glenville.)