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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Circus without Frontiers, Op-ed


Fri 24 Apr 2020 | 01:04 PM
By Dr. Hadi Eltonsi, Retired Ambassador and Medical Doctor

Can we teach children below ten years of age the causes of democracy, ambient protection, culture of peace, family bonding, disarmament, resisting the control of businessmen on politicians and peoples?

An ambulant family circus of four inpiduals and a friend, the father studied theatre, saxophone, and piano playing, taking them with him into wooden caravans, built by the wife who tailored and embroidered cloths and curtains, the vehicles are horse driven, and illuminated by a solar energy generator.

The circus passed in the countryside of several European countries, moving every Sunday, and granted shelter by local municipalities in the freezy winter season. As for the spectators, they are rural children accompanied by respective families, some sharing in the show about which a documentary won a prize in an international festival, and a book with photos beautifully made was also issued.

The show starts with a man walking over long wooden sticks, showing arrogance, control and inflated ego while moving an apathetic child as a puppet hanging to its threats and controlled to live as a machine without feelings nor emotions, it lives without soul to do what is dictated, till another child comes for the rescue in absence of the dictator, the savior speaks to the victim, evoking hope and vitality, but the returning authority puts off the awakening at onset, and keep the situation under control till the governed becomes a burden on the governor while misery and failure becomes the fate of both.

The same inflated ego is what motivates a youngster in another episode to artistically flirt with a girl; showing off his muscles, talents, and tricks to win her admiration, at any rate, to satisfy his seemingly overconfidence, and to put down his self-doubts with a tricked victim even temporary, but he ends up with a body exhausted by sport, a mind occupied with superficialities and conspiracy, wasted energy, a failing lonely self, inhabited with doubts lacking truthfulness, and a dignity depleted by a clown failing to achieve confidence and serenity, that requires pure true manhood and harmony with the self, life, and stable true relations.

The show goes on for the youngster to become an adult trying to dominate nature, taking off trees, killing animals and contaminating the environment with factories and residues, so the nature turns against him with floods, earthquakes and catastrophes, to punish him for putting first his tight interests and short sightiness, to spoil his security and stability and for him to pay the price of his mightiness, greediness, and ignorance.

He is the same adult running after fast interests from arms industry, easy deals, and unhealthy junk food, that provokes the innocent children and lead them to fill the world with roses and trees, to co-exist with animal and care for it, to protect the environment and to love life, to create beauty and innovation, and to spread the love, the pleasure, and spontaneity.

The show goes on for the contemporary adult to appear within his family all time busy with his calls, interests, relations, television and computer, as a performer who doesn’t live the moment, and can’t feel strongly and deeply, without a comprehensive vision, not really enjoying and not caring for his family and children, who in turn are busy with electronic games that teach cruelty and killing, he is consumed, rushing in a hurry, lonely and upset and endlessly anxious, so his life term ends as if he didn’t live it, till his resources end, and his body gets diseases.

I contemplated the show at the end to find that it had deposited in the consciousness or the sub-consciousness of the child how to deal with all what is important of what he is going to face in life, as a child, a teenager, an adult, with himself, with the other, with nature, family, money, and political regime.

I remembered that the main actor declared in advance that he and wife toured the world and deserted the city and luxury life to tell the lessons to the children who received them with fun, entertainment, and in return to low fees.

The couple is leading an austere lifestyle to transmit a message that most of the contemporary adults failed to completely understand in due time, so they reproduced the errors, and wars, catastrophes, selfishness, tricks, misery, psychological and physical diseases, loneliness and fears prevailed in an unfair unstable world.

The parents were keen to educate their children by themselves and through correspondence; so one was graduated a physician, the second joined the university education, and the younger two act in the show with the parents.

The wife is a daughter of a businessman and from a rich family but deserted the luxury and artificial life to serve humanity starting with rural children. The couple enjoys heartily friendships and true respect wherever they go, the appreciation for the message opens the hearts and the minds and surrounds them with cooperation and gratitude.

I remembered in our country the street puppet show that usually ends with a man controlling his rebellious wife with a stick, and some of what programs are offering for children, dealing with them as if they are incapable for their age to realize, and I felt that is its more possible to educate children than we imagine, and that the real professionalism shows itself respecting the child, having faith in his potential, and in simplifying the show, not the significance.

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