Thursday, September 16, 2010

What Is a Child?

“I worry” said President Obama, “that even if Michelle and I do our best to impart what we think are important values to our children, the media out there will undermine our lessons and teach them something different.”

That is a legitimate non-political concern for every parent. The other day I took one of my occasional walks downtown. I went first to City Hall, paid my water bill, then headed through the Park to the Post Office. I mailed a couple of bills and turned my face homeward.

As I exited the downtown, I approached a young mother with two small children, waiting at the bus stop. As I drew near, the older of the two looked directly into my eyes with a childish smile. With one hand up to her mouth, she extended the other and discretely waved it back and forth, while looking directly into my face.

Being the Grandpa that I am, I studied her dark eyes filled with sparkle. This unknown Hispanic child of perhaps three, was shyly, cautiously, waving at me. I smiled and responded discreetly, “Well hi, little lady, and how are you?”

The mother mumbled something I did not understand, but I didn’t really care. I was all eyes for this youngster that made my day by befriending a stranger who looked considerably different from her. With that brief locking of eyes, I continued my homeward march, at peace with the world.

The President has a right to worry about his two beautiful girls. I worry about our children no longer being allowed to be children and enjoy the delights of childhood. We press them into our adult moulds so quickly. I worry about the kind of world we are leaving to them, a world that has no real place for childish innocense.

How do people wiser than me view our children?
“The foundation of every state is the education of its youth,“ declared Diogenes.

“We worry,” said Stacia Taucher, about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.”

“Children are not things to be molded,” declared Jess Lair, “but are people to be unfolded.”

“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children,” wrote Hodding Carter, “one is roots; the other, wings.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer grew up as a high-achieving child. Then, somewhere in his Bible studies he determined to spend his life “living Jesus.“ In that role, he countered another high achieving lad who became a paperhanger. However, the times, like ours were restless and resentful, and he took control of Germany's wild political swings and led them down the path of Nazi fascism. While Hitler involved us in a devastating world war, Bonhoeffer helped his compromised church to return to its roots of true faith.

Regarding children, Bonhoeffer said, “The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.” To that John Whitehead adds, “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” Louis Pasteur concluded, “When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments; tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may become.”

2010 is an educated and sophisticated technocracy where children are “somethings” we sell for profit into sex slavery for the pleasure of perverse devils. A child is merely a youth into whose hands we put a gun and send out to rape and pillage in the name of our tribal war. That neighborhood kid down the street is another somebody entrusted to one of our community’s spiritual guides who, in turn, used our child for selfish sexual pleasures. For others of us, children are the annoyances that get on our nerves--somebody’s nerves, and more times than we dare admit ends up being abused, battered, or killed.

The words attributed to Dorothy L. Law remind us,

If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with, he learns to feel sorry for himself.
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with jealousy, he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative.
If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love.
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with recognition, he learns that it is good to have a goal.
If a child lives with honesty, he learns what truth is.
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself and those about him.
If a child lives with friendliness, he learns that the world is a nice place in
which to live.
With what is your child living?

From Warner’s World, I am

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