Dear Whoever – please stop the terror

I’m praying to you but I don’t know who you are. My grandparents used to pray to God, but now lots of people say there is no such person and anyone who’s religious is just imagining it. And other people say there is, but not the one that Christians call God, the one who had a son called Jesus. They have other names for their god. Whatever, this is what’s on my mind this week.

girl bomb

Dear Whoever,

Another week, another atrocity. The Mali hotel hostage thing was very different from the Paris attacks, but still another example of the fact that the human race has split into groups which don’t like each other.

african kids

What worries me, though, is that there is friction among people within the groups. Like many people, I adapted my Facebook pic with the French flag as a gesture of solidarity, but then immediately you had people saying we cared about Paris but not about things that happened in the rest of the world.

I don’t think that’s true. It’s just that you can’t worry about everything – there just isn’t time. And if I prayed to you about all the bad things that have happened and asked you to look after all the people who need it, but named them (as groups, not individually, obviously) I would be talking to you all day and all night.

I have faith in most of the world leaders and think they’re trying to do a good job, but there is always somebody criticizing them, and the people who do that are not the ones who have to make the decisions.

So what right do I, for instance, have to say that Barack Obama or David Cameron are wrong in what they choose to do? I don’t even know what I would do in their situation.

The French Prime Minister, Monsieur Hollande, says he’s going to get IS for this, but I don’t think he really knows how that would work. He’s just standing up to the people who have harmed his people and his country, so he has to say that, doesn’t he? Otherwise his own people will think he’s not capable of defending them.

girl for whoever

It’s like our dog, Zebra. Even when he was a puppy he would be barking like crazy any time someone or another dog went past our house. I don’t know what he thought he was going to do about it if anybody took him up on it, but he was doing his job. And funnily enough, even though he’s as gentle as can be, people who come into the garden – the plumber, the electrician and other visitors – are a bit scared of him because they don’t know him and he could be the kind of dog that bites.

So that’s what Mr. Hollande is doing: he’s barking at the terrorists and because they’re capable of doing terrible things themselves, they probably think he is too.

I just hope it all quietens down and we can go back to being worried about the weather instead. High winds and rain, that’s what I want to be concerned about. Actually I quite like it when there’s a storm going on and the rain is lashing my bedroom window, because I’m safe and sound inside. My dad is the Prime Minister around here and he barks a bit from time to time. Or maybe it’s a coalition with my Mum – she certainly behaves like the boss in certain situations.

Whatever, it’s not me who’s in charge, and most of the time I can carry on quite calmly, as if all is well in the world. Because that’s all I want, really, doesn’t everyone?

 

 

Dear Whoever – Thank you

Dear Whoever,

I’m praying to you but I don’t know who you are. My grandparents used to pray to God, but now lots of people say there is no such person and anyone who’s religious is just imagining it. And other people say there is, but not the one that Christians call God, the one who had a son called Jesus. They have other names for their god. Whatever, this is what’s on my mind this week.

girl bw

Not too bad a week on the international horrible things front. New horrible things, anyway. There is always something in the news that you don’t want to see or hear but you do anyway. I suppose that’s how they make sure people are watching their TV news programmes and looking at their websites.

The news people must know something that I don’t. If I was running the BBC or CNN I would be trying to find nice things to tell the world about.

So, the plane crash in Egypt probably was a bomb like everyone thought. At least the victims’ bodies have been flown home now and the families can bury them and get on with their lives. That’s what we did with my Gran a few years ago. It was a bit of a shock when she passed away, and everything was sad and weird for a while, but the feeling passes. I used to go to the cemetery and put flowers on her grave, but after a while I stopped doing that.

Actually, Whoever, I used to stand there looking at her gravestone and talking to her and you. Out loud. I hope you both heard me. I used to put freesias in the little metal vase. Freesias are good for that because for one thing they’re cheap but pretty and smell nice, and for another thing they’re not as delicate as some flowers.

They’re always dead by the time you go back, but I suppose if you put a vase in your back garden the same thing would happen. Cut flowers need to be looked after, like when my Dad buys my Mum some, which he does from time to time.

Nobody’s ever bought me flowers yet, but Mum says there’s plenty of time for that. It’s a funny thing to do, anyway, giving somebody something that isn’t going to last. It’s like chocolates: you eat them and they’re gone, so is that how long their feelings last, the person who gave them to you?

Nothing seems to last, does it? Everybody dies, mobile phones get outdated, laptops start doing funny things because they’re three years old. What used to be your favourite t-shirt gradually loses its colour and the shape goes a bit funny so you get a new one and that’s your favourite then.

black girl

I suppose I’ll just have to get used to it. Anyway, thank you for the fact that when one thing finishes another one comes along. I’ve decided I’m going to be an optimist, because that seems like a better way to do things. Thank you for me and everyone I know not being on that plane. I’m sorry for the people who were, of course, so I hope this doesn’t make me sound selfish.

But thank you for looking after me and I hope my Gran is okay. If she’s with you I’m sure she will be. Those people who don’t believe in you, I wonder what they think happened to their Gran when she died.

 

 

 

Dear Whoever – Mysterious plane crashes

I’m praying to you but I don’t know who you are. My grandparents used to pray to God, but now lots of people say there is no such person and anyone who’s religious is just imagining it. And other people say there is, but not the one that Christians call God, the one who had a son called Jesus. They have other names for their god. Whatever, this is what’s on my mind this week.

plane crash

Mysterious plane crashes. There was another one this week when a Russian plane crashed in Egypt and everyone on board was killed.

Why does this keep happening? Planes crash for no apparent reason and others disappear, never to be seen again. You didn’t hear about it so much a few years ago, so presumably it didn’t happen so much.

And nobody ever seems to come up with a simple explanation. It makes you wonder. I am told that statistically air travel is safer than many other things. People will tell you you’re more likely to get run over by a bus, and they think that’s a clever thing to say.

Well it doesn’t fill me with confidence, because it’s just a version of the whole parents-comforting-children thing, which is very nice but I’m beginning to doubt it. Whatever you’re worried about, your parents will tell you it’s going to be okay, but how do they know? They can’t guarantee anything.

Many people pray about that sort of thing, too. They ask their god to make this or that happen or prevent something. I do it with you, don’t I? And it makes me feel better. And nothing really bad has ever happened to me. But ministers die horrible deaths. Jews are very vocal about religion, but look what Hitler did to them in the Second World War.

I tell you, Whoever, sometimes I think the atheists are right, and we’re on our own down here. I don’t want to think that, and I keep bobbing back up to the surface when I feel I’m sinking, but it’s not easy.

girl

There are so many different interpretations of the Bible and probably the Qu’ran and other books too.

Some people think we are getting close to the time when Jesus will come back to the world and sort everything out. Well I hope he does, because we’re certainly making a mess of things here and it feels like it’s getting out of control.

If there is a god who is devoted to doing good, is there also really a devil determined to poop everything up?

Well, I’m sticking with you, Whoever, because you’re the best chance I’ve got. But it’s difficult to convince other people. So please keep your arms around me and see me through this troubled period on earth. I personally don’t wish anything bad on anyone, so if everyone takes the same attitude, we should be okay, shouldn’t we?

 

Dear Whoever

I’m praying to you but I don’t know who you are. My grandparents used to pray to God, but now lots of people say there is no such person and anyone who’s religious is just imagining it. And other people say there is, but not the one that Christians call God, the one who had a son called Jesus. They have other names for their god. Whatever, this is what’s on my mind this week.

nymph

Dear Whoever,

I suppose I should introduce myself to the people reading this, but I’m not going to because exactly who I am is not important. What is important is that there are billions of people in the world who are like me deep down. We all want peace and we all want to live happily, with a roof over our head, not cold but not too warm. We want to be fit and healthy and safe. Actually, I am those things, and I’m grateful for it, although I can’t really imagine anything else, because as I said, that’s how my life has always been.

I have parents who live together and seem happy with each other. Many of my friends’ parents are divorced or were never married in the first place. There’s nothing wrong with that, I know. Or rather my parents tell me there’s nothing wrong with it. When they were kids, everyone had a Mum and Dad living together, but I gather that was not necessarily because they were happy. It was because they couldn’t afford to get divorced. My Mum and Dad have been married forever and they’re going to be together forever. Don’t ask me how I know that, I just do.

girl

muslim girl

I’ve got lots of friends and a cat and a laptop and a phone. What more does anybody need?

Our family has enough money, even though my Dad, in particular, would like to have more because he says there’s always something cropping up that needs paying for. The car breaks down, the cat gets ill, prices go up, and the sums he and Mum have done for balancing the books, as they call it, don’t add up anymore.

One thing we don’t have to worry about is healthcare, because we live in the United Kingdom, which is known as the UK, and we have something called the National Health Service (NHS). I’m not sure exactly where that gets its money from, but I think it’s from people who work, and they pay a certain amount every month which ends up in a hospital’s bank account. Something like that.

Anyway, I’ve never seen my parents pay the doctor, and I’ve never been in hospital, so I wouldn’t know about that. I’ve got a cousin who’s a nurse, though, and he tells me the government is always trying to save money by giving the NHS less of it. Yes, I said ‘he’. It’s not that unusual to have male nurses, is it? You see a lot of female doctors.

So that’s what I’m talking to you about tonight, Whoever. Bless the doctors and nurses and the specialists who know everything there is to know about whatever it is they’re interested in.

Ideally I would ask you to never let anybody get ill or have an accident, but I suppose if you could arrange that, you would have done it by now. Why do bad things happen to good people? Ross said that on Friends when his shampoo leaked in his luggage on the way back from holiday.

Friends is pretty funny even though it’s ancient now. My parents have the complete box set and I’ve watched all of it. It’s a very grownup programme and it shows how life is for adults, so maybe I will live in an apartment like they do one day. I want to be like Rachel because she’s really pretty and works in the fashion world. Monica’s more like my Mum and Phoebe’s crazy. Joey’s nice and he’s very popular with girls. But he never has an actual girlfriend. That’s weird. It’s not like he couldn’t get one. Maybe he’s not as confident as he pretends.

Sorry, Whoever. I digress, as my English teacher says. I don’t know why it’s not ‘I am digressing’ or ‘I have digressed’, but that’s what he says. So please keep everybody safe and well and if you can organize for the Friends people to get back together, that would be great.

kids