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Monday, December 17, 2012

For the children

In light of what happened last week in the States, the only topic that is on my mind is children.

The worst part of this tragedy is that those innocent victims are not the only ones.

Every day in this world, childhood is stolen. Taken away.

Another story that is making the headlines right now is that of the two little ones who were killed by their father in Quebec in 2009. (The man has just been released.)

And then there are all those children in the world who do not even have the right to survive past their first years from a lack of access to food, water and medical attention. (About that, read Race Against Time, by Stephen Lewis.)

And what about those children who do survive, but to live a life of misery?

I have never been more aware that having a healthy, happy childhood is a right that is denied to thousands of human beings.

This morning, as I was watching the children play, I couldn't help but think about how wonderful it is to witness genuine childhood, full of its big joys and small conflicts. Too often we forget how precious it is.

It is our responsibility, as adults, to protect those children, to provide them with guidance and support, to help them bloom and grow into balanced and happy adults. This is the only way they will not turn into either the victim or the perpetrator of some sordid act of violence. We also have to educate them about global issues that affect children, so that they become involved and feel they have a responsibility in making this world a better place.

Take a child who has been blessed with a "normal" childhood, and you will see that it is in them, naturally, to do good. Look past their tantrums and other acts of naughtiness. See those for what they are, signs of immaturity (that we, as adults, have to help overcome). Look instead at their spontaneous acts of kindness. I was a firsthand witness of children's kindness last week, after we lost our cat Azraël to a terminal illness. Here is what I have received in the past few days:

By E, age 8

By R, age 8

By A, age 6

By A, age 6

By O, age 9

By E, age 8

Each and every one of those pictures touched my heart. Thank you to all those wonderful children who put sunshine in our lives.

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