Pictures have a way of inspiring my writing and this one, in particular, speaks volumes.
This is what the artist, Nyree Reynolds, says about her wonderful painting.
This little 4-year-old boy was sent out from England to Australia to help populate Australia. The little ones that arrived had to walk around picking up twigs for the cooking stoves. It was very sad for these children to have to leave their families. The British and Australian government told lies to their families that they would see their kids again. Many of them didn’t.
She has beautifully illustrated a very sad point in Australian history. She has also revealed the tragedy that occurs when a child has to grow up without roots. An example closer to home is what happened to many of our Native American children who were removed from their homes and sent to boarding schools to be assimilated into mainstream society.
When a child has been removed from their home and family or moved from place to place for a long period of time, they lose their sense of self. This is even more apparent when a child comes from a multicultural/multiracial background.
So, in order to find some sense of who they are, they try on different personas. I have seen this multiple times in the children I’ve taught. I watch as they attempt to fit into one place and then another and finally sometimes settle on being a loner not fitting in anywhere.
That is the biggest travesty of all. For when a person finds out about their family roots and traditions and the hardships their ancestors had to overcome, they come to realize those same characteristics; strength, hope, resiliency, intuitiveness, and creativity, are a part of their makeup as well.
They can also grow to appreciate their family members who are still alive and can share their memories of their journey through life. This is the biggest blessing of all.
So, I’d like to encourage you to start looking for your roots and appreciate the older family members who are a wealth spring of information and insight.