A Problem in our Society

I have a worry and a concern about our society and its relationship with children. Actually, it isn’t just here in America. It is everywhere in our world. Here in America, we just don’t see it as clearly.

During the course of my life, which has been fairly long, I have seen a tendency in people to look away at the uncomfortable So many people feel they must turn away from what is shocking or what is painful to see or hear about. This is not a criticism and we certainly need to balance these things with beauty and spirit. Much of what people experience in life makes others so aware of their mortality, and people don’t have the skills to handle those sorts of thoughts. The thing is that turning away doesn’t change our mortality. The truth is we are all mortal and we need to accept that.

I am not saying that this is easy or that some people won’t need help to embrace their mortality. Life is a cycle and death or mortality is part of the cycle. It is not the end, though. Life never really ends. We just won’t need this body any longer.

The lives of children have been romanticized in literature novels. The truth is that a child is such a gift to parents, communities and the world. We love our own kids but tend to not want to be bothered when they are older and not as cute or sweet as they were. The statistics of child abuse and molestation show us a very “un-Hallmark” picture of the lives of children.

When I was little, being gone all day playing with the other kids in the neighborhood, it caused no stress. We slept out all of the time on front porches and walked around the neighborhood without a worry. We didn’t get into trouble and no one bothered us. We would make up stories and tell them by flashlight to scare each other. These “scary” stories were fairy tales compared to the true stories that happen every day to children here in America and around their world. We thought the monster in the dark was our biggest worry.

Today, in the twenty-first century our children face abduction, molestation, neglect, bullying, human trafficking and indifference to their dreams.

Children are pawns in divorces, abducted from their own beds, killed in school shootings, sold into human slavery. They are often confused and angry. Many are demeaned and verbally abused as well as physically abused.

I feel we need to talk to children more, and listen much more. We need to find out what excites them and encourage their dreams. Every child deserves to be totally sure they are loved. But not smothered with love. Children need to learn independence one step at a time.

Ethics and morality should be taught, but not racism and bigotry. We need to teach our children well, how to solve problems without hatred, bullying or violence.

We, as adults need to make this a safer, less violent world. A world that doesn’t give lip service to the importance of our children. We need to make a safer world, a less violent world, and a world that looks more like the “garden.” Children’s lives should be less like hell on earth and more like a glorious adventure.

We can do this, we must do this because the children are the future. They are the most important resource we have. Really look at the Amber alerts and missing children’s poster. Think of that child as one of your own and try to realize if you saw them. Don’t avoid stories about neglected and abused children.

Even if you have no children of your own, we, as members of communities, have a responsibility to the children. Education is so important and every child needs to have the best education possible. The Einsteins, the Mozarts, the Nobel Prize winners don’t just come from wealthy families. They come from all economic backgrounds. They will learn love and respectful living from us. So let’s show them how to live without violence, hatred and anger. Everyone will benefit and there will be peace and love and compassion in our world again.

Miller’s reserve Photo by Barbara Mattio

Hygrangeas, North Carolina Photo by Barbara Mattio