Mario and Company

Regina Cano

Cuban kids.

HAVANA TIMES — Some young kids of around six and seven years of age were surprised as they dragged along pieces and parts of a property-line fence through a walkway in one Havana community.

The owner had left it there rotting away, but it had continued to do its job of marking the edge of his yard while he waited for better economic times to make the needed improvements.

This fence consisted of metal tubes bent to form inverted U’s that were held together by a metal strip. It was constructed such that if you tried to lift one of the components, you would have been likely to get your fingers pinched.

In short, it was so beat up and rusty that it probably posed more of a threat of causing tetanus than it did to contribute to the quiet enjoyment of this man’s real property.

But, incredible as it seemed to me, these kids were trying to steal it. There was a brief moment when they tried to scatter off in all directions, out of fear I suppose, but then they returned to the fence.

I wonder if the result of this incident is a reflection of actions they witness by adults in their neighborhood or did this thought come to and unfolded in their own minds, this idea of disrespecting others and feeling themselves to have the right to appropriate everything that isn’t theirs, as if the world owed it to them and that they simply don’t care about what happens to others.

And people! We’re very misdirected in this country — which needs more humility, consideration and respect — if some of the thinking that prevails in the world among the powerful towards the powerless is now having such an influence on our children.

Their mothers were too far away to be aware of the facts, and the adults who observed this behavior chose not to say anything to the “poor little kids” – as if all conduct at their age doesn’t have future consequences.