South Pacific Musical. lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein:
” you have got to be taught to hate and fear. you have got to be taught to be afraid of people whose eyes are oddly made and people whose skin is a different shade. you have got to be carefully taught…before its too late. before you are six or seven or eight. to hate all the people your relatives hate.” what a terrible condemnation of the human race couched in such lovely music!
Seth, the wise little boy: when my daughter was in preschool, i rode her to school on my bike. day after day, a boy, from her class, hiding behind the trashbin,watched us arrive . just watched, silent, intense then ran away. ” you like a bike ride?” head shake, no. ” this is my daughter, do you want to be her friend and go to class together? ” head shake, no. then ran away. poor little one, maybe he is mute, or a simpleton. Then , miracle: one day, he spoke, deadly serious:
“Are you Jewish?” ” well…. i’m not jewish”. he was puzzled: ” but you dont’look christian!” ” well…am not jewish, am not christian, am asian “. some more thinking then a big smile: ” i like you anyway” and ran away .
Seth was his name. the world according to Seth was divided between jewish and christian. asian did not fit anywhere. did not matter. he took me in. Seth has not been carefully taught to hate and fear. Bless you Seth, and bless your parents. One of the most profound lessons of my life as an adult,taught by a child.
Seth Liebson, you deserve your name: ” Seth loving son”.
copyright by L.chan 2000