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Judge Them by Their Hearts

Story ID:7773
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Budapest Hungary
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Judge Them by Their Hearts

In the picture, Georgia is second from the left

Judge Them by their Hearts

It was 1956. Hungary was in the midst of a revolution. It began as a student
demonstration which attracted thousands, as it marched through the center of Budapest toward
the Parliament building. The students entered the radio building to broadcast their demands, but
were detained. Demonstrators outside demanded their release. From within the building, the state
security police fired their guns. Young lives were brought to an end.

The news spread. Violence erupted throughout the capital.

A little girl of eight huddled in an apartment with her mother, father and sister. They
shook with fear, as tanks rolled through the streets outside their home. They clutched each
other, when a tank fired and a building on their block exploded into flames.

That night, her mother and father made a decision. They fled the country and made a
home in a new one. Their decision brought that little girl, Georgia Elizabeth Liszak, to Canada.

They settled in Montreal, Canada, where they learned to speak both French and English.

Georgiaís father did well as an engineer, designing turbines for some of the largest
hydroelectric projects in Canada, including Wreck Cove, Nova Scotia.

Twenty years later, Georgia and her family returned to Hungary (one of the few countries
behind the iron curtain to have some semblance of freedom at the time) to visit family. It was
because of the revolution Hungary had their little freedom.

Georgia spoke to her family members in Hungarian, but received strange looks. She was
a tall and beautiful young woman who spoke Hungarian like the eight-year-old who fled to
Canada with her family many years before. Georgia learned new languages, but her Hungarian
stayed at the fourth grade level. She was an adult who spoke like a child.

I listen to people speak and make judgments. I hear myself speak and cringe at the way
I sound. Ginny says I speak like I have marbles in my mouth. Itís a good description. People
judged Georgia by the way she spoke.

We cannot judge a person by the way they speak. Judge them by their hearts.

Michael T. Smith

Georgia was my first wife. Rest in peace, Hun.