04 Jan 2012

Last night I watched a film that is still haunting me. There is so much trash out there and so little that I can recommend to those in our Total Leadership Connections program that shows how family, culture, and crises impact us over time.

This one is riveting.


In its gentle, yet dramatic story we see how people can stay in denial about what is going on in the world for only so long, and then, something happens to force us to wake up.

The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas” takes us back to the Holocaust of World War ll. My deep sadness is in how little most of us have learned from the trauma of six million being tortured and burnt to death, as others participated or looked the other way.

We can fast forward to today. There is still so much dissension, judgment, and hatred of those who are not like us.

What in the world are we doing?

Here is the question:

At what age do we teach our children about what polarization and defamation does to others and to ourselves?

Let me explain. The two youngsters in this drama are eight year old boys, one German and the other Jewish; one behind the barbed wires, the other free to roam and play.

Is eight years old too young for children to see the atrocities of the world? The actors are that age and in the extra features they talked about what it was like to play the roles they did. They were profound in their discussions.

Yet, I cringe to think of having little kids watch a film that shows so much of the dark side of the human condition. Yet, it must be taught and discussed.

Is it best to wait till the teen years to show atrocities? I do not mean the kind of senseless shoot-em-ups on television. I mean the depth of hatred, when the shadow of man and woman is projected onto others and loyalty to “the cause” takes precedence over decency and dignity.

I’m not sure. I want to protect the innocence of childhood and yet, there are probably more little ones who are living in conflict ridden areas than not. War children exist all over this planet.

What have we learned?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. And take time to watch the film. Be prepared to see the dignity of the human spirit in these two young stars. they will engage your minds and capture your hearts,



2 Responses to How Old is Old Enough?
  1. I watched this with my daughter when she was 10 years old. I did watch it first and then decided it was something we should watch together and we discussed it, in detail for weeks because it was traumatizing to watch for the both of us. She lives in am area where people have thrown meat at her in the cafeteria because she is a vegetarian and she hear racial slurs on a daily basis. I wanted her to walk about with a different perceptive on race and relationships with our fellow human beings that rival her peer influences.

  2. Hi Beth,
    Thanks for the comment.I think you are super courageous for sitting with your daughter to watch this powerful film. I do believe there comes a time when our children need to learn about the world they will inherit from us and find new and more hopeful ways to live together. So sad that choosing to eat a healthy life style can be seen as wrong. Keep being strong and your daughter will grow to become a spokesperson for right whether it is about eating preferences or judging race or religion. Kudos to you, Sylvia

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