Writer In Florence Ela Vasilescu

Day 14 – We teach our children to be ignorant


Ever since I was little, I’ve always had a strong sense of justice. I used to nag adults all the time: because they smoked and drank too much, because they treated their children badly, because they didn’t look around them enough, because they could only see sadness and worries and not happiness and freedom and the list can go on for days. Sometimes when I attended grown-up parties, they would laugh and advise my mother to guide me towards a career in law. The truth is, those were the only times when I couldn’t stop talking, otherwise I was as quiet as a snail. I used to see homeless people on the street and give them the bread that I was supposed to go home with, or wake up my mom in the middle of the night to feed the puppies that were abandoned under our balcony; later as an adult I would pick old men from the street and feed them, listen to their problems even if they were drank and stupid or other people on the street looked at me like I was mental. No one ever agreed with me and I was always judged for caring to much or worse not wanting to adapt to the reality of life.

Well, I adapted at some point because I just got tired of trying and now I think I regret it. The things you see in parks when you go out with your kid are horrifying sometimes, and you just go on and ignore it. A child’s world often is hell and the grown-up world is nothing compared to theirs. For instance last week I saw this little girl punched by her mother over and over again until she ran out of tears. My brain started to scream at her and I just wanted take that defenseless child away from her, but instead I just left, hoping that my daughter didn’t see that scene. After that humiliating feeling because you just can’t do anything about it, except walk away, yesterday my soul got scared. There was a family of seven in the park, with two small children, around Ephia’s age and two other boys around ten years old. As time went by, me and them were the only ones left in the park. That happens a lot because we don’t respect the strict hours that Italians have for dinner. At some point, one of the mothers, if I can call her that, took a big bat and started to hit the smallest child out of nowhere. My heart just tightened and I grabbed Ephia and stormed out the gate; as I was leaving, I saw this woman in the corner of my eye, pulling out a knife and starting to make cuts on the baby’s arms. Who are these people? Why do they have children and why the hell can’t we do something about it? I honestly wanted to go face her but there were seven of them and I was alone, and I realized that wasn’t safe for my child especially with a knife and bat involved.

So, you tell me, why are we supposed to be ignorant? Isn’t that what we teach our children by walking away, that those things are normal and we shouldn’t do anything about it? Why do we have laws and why is everyone saying that you should not meddle in other people’s families and business? What about when our children see those horror scenes and wonder why we as grown-ups allow them to happen? I felt useless and as much ignorant as all the adults that were advocating for me to learn what real life is. This is real life and we are all fucking ignorant beings that just let it happen.

About the author

Ela Vasilescu

I’m a writer based in Florence, Italy.

Human nature inspires me, different cultures, traditions, folk stories and the differences which make us unique. Documenting stories is a privilege, a glimpse into humanity, an unforgettable experience, one which I embrace and honour every day.

If you have a story twitching in the back of your pocket, one that is ready to be told, shared and heard, chances are I will be ready to listen; so don’t hesitate to send me an email.

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Writer In Florence Ela Vasilescu