“I would like, belatedly, to thank the people of Canada for a kindly gesture. When I was at primary school toward, and just after, the end of the Second World War, in bomb-damaged Liverpool, we all received a large, red, eating apple. The boxes were marked “From the people of Canada.”
I have never forgotten this and now, after nearly 70 years, I am able, with the help of the Internet, to finally say thank you. Canada’s gift made many little boys and girls very happy. It just shows how a small gesture can make a big difference.
Thank you, once again, Canada.”
This letter, written by Ray Mitcham of Southport, Merseyside, U.K., appeared in the Ottawa Citizen this week.
I read it once. I read it again. And then I read it a third time.
Such a small thing: A splash of bright red juiciness in the bleak, grey aftermath of war. Remembered.
One small Canadian act of love harboured warmly in his heart, for a lifetime, moved him to express gratitude.
Then I thought Imagine if the remembered moment was not a happy one. Imagine if the bright red juiciness was blood, not an apple. Imagine how he would harbour that in his heart. Imagine what he would be moved to do in response.
That’s why there’s still war and conflict. People harbour moments in their hearts, and if the remembered moments are of pain or death, it moves them to express hatred, not gratitude.
That’s why we have to do better, to try harder, to give more. People don’t just remember the big things; they remember the little things, too. They hold onto those bright, red, juicy moments—good or bad—for a lifetime.
Better apples than the alternative, I think.
See the original letter here: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Thank+Canada/9461528/story.html