ZACK

Today I saw the movie “The Railway Man”. I quite enjoyed this movie. But I do think it fell somewhat short in portraying the true reality of the suffering of the POW’S (Prisoner of War) in the camps. I have read many books about the harsh Japanese treatment of POW’S and I have read The Railway Man.

On reflection after the movie I thought of my adversary at Kapiti College, (Raumati South, Wellington Province, New Zealand). I went to Kapiti College straight after finishing primary school a primary school that was in my home town of Pukerua Bay. My Adversary at college, a male student, lived in a nearby town called Paekakariki. My adversaries name is Garth Howard. Garth was a popular boy, he had many friends, he was a rugby player on one of the college teams, he was no real scholar, he was a member of the surf life saving club at Paekakariki.
Garth had a sister called Bronwyn also a student at Kapiti College; she came across as compassionate, like a caring person. Now I never ever spoke to Bronwyn but I seemed to have got a perception of her, like a spiritual perception. She was different to Garth. Garth was in my 6th form class. Garth tormented me. He was the BULLY. Now I never saw him bully other people, only me. He seemed to make it his mission to make my life a misery; and he achieved this goal. I was miserable for a lot of my first year 6th form. Garth used a very simple method to make my life a misery. Garth just repeatably in my presence called me one word – Zack. Garth called me Zack in a very mocking way like daily and many times a day. This went on for a whole year and even after college I saw him sometimes say on the train or in the city and there was Garth and his calling me Zack. I used to be scared of Garth physically even though Garth never touched me physically. With Garth it was like a tension, a conflict, a fear in my heart and mind. I felt so demeaned. I felt scared. I felt depressed. I felt miserable. I was not coping at college as it was and he was like making my college days even worse. Many years later I met a lady who lived in Paekakariki and she said Browyn had become a nurse; I relate to that; nurses are supposed to care. Bronwyn had that way of caring. I was told by this Paekakariki lady that Garth’s father was a drinker. Now I met this lady at New Norcia Monastery guesthouse a few years ago.

Why would I reflect on Garth after watching The Railway Man movie. Because the movie was about reconciliation; about saying sorry and about forgiveness. Garth has never apologised to me. In my thinking to forgive one needs first an apology. In the movie the Japanese ex kempei soldier aologised to Eric Lomax. But before the apology Lomax lived out a life suffering, Lomax was still fighting he had not finished the war, and this was much later after the war had finished. Lomax fought day and night but this was in his mind and heart. Lomax was like fighting his demons. Lomax in his older life met his adversary. There was an apology and forgiveness and both Lomax and his Japanese adversary became good friends.

Garth was my adversary he made my college days a misery. His friends helped him. I remember a time at the college walking along with another student a daughter of a local Church Minister. She tried to commiserate with me. She said she could not help me, she said Garth was on the rugby first eleven or what ever it was called and she implied Garth was popular. Her name was Elizabeth. I remember her Dad was the Clergy officiating with our Kapiti Boy Scouts district troop to Kaiapoi near Christchurch for a scout Jamboree. This was just before my college days. This Jamboree was one of the best times in my life; I thoroughly enjoyed the Jamboree. I remember Revd Orchard I remember seeing him on the train trip from Picton to Christchurch.

So Eric Lomax returned from the war only after the apology and forgiveness; his war had gone on day and night well past the end of the physical war. Eric returned to England after the war but not in spirit and mind. Eric finished the war but it was a very long war. This is the same for a lot of people they are in an on going battle, SIMPLY because people do not apologise. BUT the second part is done by the victim they must forgive. Otherwise the mind and heart are at war. War is tension. War is more than just physical; its mind and heart; its soul and spirit. To be released one has to say sorry; release from heart and mind.

Yours Sincerely; Lester John Murray.

http://www.facebook.com/lester.john.murray

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