Friday, July 06, 2007

Born into a world of terror and love

For any regular readers you will have noticed that my posts have been severely depleted recently.

I am in fact alive and well but have been rather pre-occupied in the "real world".

Mrs. Donatella gave birth to our first child, a boy, last Saturday night.

The experience of becoming a parent is of course much written about. From my experience it is life changing in some ways while not in others. I think the responsibility of being responsible for an innoncent and helpless life is the most significant fact. There is of course the tremendous feeling of love for this little life before you. Also in terms of perspective, you cease to become someone's son and become someone's father.

It also gives you a much bigger stake in the future. Something forecast to happen in 2050 was almost irrlevant to me on a personal level. I could very well be dead by then or at least well into old age. However now, God willing, my son would be in his mid-40s in 2050. It is not so distant anymore.

However in other ways life goes on as before. Of course there is the huge domestic upheaval of caring for a newborn but even that will pass. Work, from which I have a brief restbite, will soon be back.

Our son was actually born at quite a significant time, to my mind at least.

June 30th 2007 was the last day it was legal to smoke in a public enclosed place in England.

It marked the end of the wettest recorded June in English history.

It was the day 2 NHS doctors drove a Jeep Cherokee packed with gas and petrol into the front of Glasgow airport. Thankfully there were no significant injuries.

It was the day after the same group of terrorist medics had attempted to let off two large car bombs in London's west end.

To think that my son was born in a City that had just narrowly avoided a major terrorist attrocity was quite moving in itself.

Even more ironic was the fact he was born in a NHS hospital, the NHS being the employer of most of the group responsible for the attacks.

This is of course likely to happen many times during my son's life. It is more than probable that future attacks will be "succesful".

Tony Blair, the Prime Minister who resigned last week spoke of a 40 year war on terror and others have spoken of it lasting a hundred years making it an issue not only for my son but also his children.

Children have always been born into uncertain worlds. My own generation were born into one divided by Cold War and apparently facing the possibility of nuclear holocaust. That passed and I even married someone from the other side of that divide. It is possible, although currently unlikely that the current conflict could face a similar resolution during my son's life.

The main difficulty of resolving the current global war of terror is that the objectives of the terrorists are so unclear. The IRA bombed London at various points when I was growing up but their ultimate objective was clear- a united Ireland. The IRA were also relative "gentlemen" compared to Al Quaeda, telephoning warnings before major bombings. Al Queada and their associates seek simply to kill as many as possible without having a clear objective.

That said, life goes on. The care my wife and son received in the NHS was very great and the dedication of the doctors and midwives humbling. While a few bad doctors willing to become terrorists do exist, the thought I hold this day is that the vast majority of them like the vast majority of all people are ultimately motivated by love in all its various forms.

It is the strength of love in this world, that knows both love and terror, that will eventually win. I hope for my son's sake that terror is defeated sooner rather than later. Even if this does not happen I know that love will eventually triumph in all places whether in my lifetime, my son's lifetime or even many generations from now.

A rather irreverant interpretation from the Times of the terrorist doctors' contribution to the NHS...

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