WITH all of the hysteria surrounding current conflicts around the world, I was dumbfounded on Tuesday to witness how our younger generations are responding.
I was waiting for my lift to arrive during the afternoon school pick up time, at the Nightowl centre in Gladstone.
A bunch of Catholic school students were making a racket, but what they actually said had me disgusted and repulsed.
They had surrounded a woman, obviously Middle Eastern in appearance, and berated her for being Muslim.
"Filthy Muslim" were the words I heard. These kids were no more than 15 years of age.
They had obviously rattled this poor woman, leaving her sobbing.
Not even five minutes later, another small group of high school students walked past.
These students, from a non-denominational school, helped the same woman load her groceries into the back seat of her car.
And then they disappeared, without thanks.
The whole episode unfolded so quickly, to say I was dumbfounded would be an understatement.
It made me wonder though, how religion is not only creating these conflicts overseas, but are promoting intolerance here in Australia.
Or am I jumping to conclusions?
Either way, it was clear the Christian values supposedly taught in this particular school were not present.
Of course, the argument then comes to light that an individual will act on their own merits.
Teenagers, I understand, are particularly horrid creatures at the best of times.
But isn't acceptance and tolerance a more important lesson than religion in our school curriculum?