I love the way that so often children don’t notice differences. They don’t seem to be influenced by the colour of their friend’s skin. They fully accept a child in a wheelchair or one who runs with a limp. When I watch them playing in the street or at church each child appears to be included in the activities.

But I’m not starry eyed; this happy situation is not always the case. In a playground I sometimes see a child who is excluded. Children form into groups where some of the youngsters are not welcome. These groups can sometimes become gangs in later life where to be part of the group the child has to conform. I wonder how much of their behaviour learn from the adults.

Sadly my mind goes back to my childhood to when I was about 9 or 10. My group was being unkind to one little girl. I wasn’t the leader but I took a verbal part. Now many years later I say sorry to God, I can’t say the kind words to that little girl who I now imagine is a mature woman. I can only pray that she has gone on to have a happy fulfilled life. God has forgiven me but I still remember.