We’ve all been child in our lives. Most of us, I believe, have a memorable childhood. When we say memorable it means things or events worth remembering. Well, then how about many children around the world who have become the victims of violence, war, and ignorance? I believe they’d rather forget their childhood memories than keep them in their mind.
In Africa, many children are being left orphaned due to AIDS epidemic. Sometimes they too inherit AIDS from their parents. Fathers transmitted this disease to their wives, and mothers to their babies. Poverty is so harrowing that mothers are willing to sell their underage daughters as prostitutes ~ as young as 4 years old ~ to get money. In many cases men who are infected with AIDS are looking for young girls, again as young as 3-4 years old, to cure for their AIDS! Women especially young girls are living in fear everyday of their lives. They cannot control this terrifying misconception that men can rape women including underage girls to get cure for their AIDS.
In virtually all developing countries young girls with fistula are ostracized or dying without care. As stated in The Fistula Foundation’s website, fistula or obstetric fistula is an injury sustained during obstructed labour. It is the most devastating of all childbirth injuries. An obstetric fistula develops when blood supply to the tissues of the vagina and the bladder (and/or rectum) is cut off during prolonged obstructed labour. The tissues die and a hole forms through which urine and/or feces pass uncontrollably. Women who develop fistulas are often abandoned by their husbands, rejected by their communities, and forced to live an isolated existence*. In Africa and most developing countries girls are married at a very young age. When their bodies are not ready to have and bear a child they have to deliver and take care of them. Then pushing and pain become a torture chamber.
The wars among tribes or political factions that never end in most conflict areas around the world… they have deeply scarred the children, body and soul. The evil corruption robs most children in developing countries of their chance to get good education and healthcare. Our media sends mixed signals that confuse most urban children about flashy lifestyles. I can go on and on… but I think you get the idea.
When we talk about children we talk about the future… they will walk in the future after we launch our last breath. I believe children change our lives… ask parents everywhere. They always have something better in store for their children. I know children have changed most of my friends’ lives. Fathers quit smoking in the house or around their children… they even quit working long-hours in the office. Mothers quit their job in order to better take care of their children.
Parents will pass values, ideals, and dreams to their children. What values do you want your children to have? I know what values and ideals I want to pass on to the future generation: to be happy and grateful for what they have now, to be willing to share their blessing and joy, to be respectful to the elders and to others in society, to be able to accept differences and work on common goals, to be able to say they’re sorry when they hurt others, and most of all to be able to do their shares as persons of faiths in this world.
In this fast-paced and competitive world sometimes it’s hard to keep a balanced decision. I’ve seen parents who push their children to the edge to perform for all the wrong reasons ~ when you push your children to be a straight A’s student, did you do it for his/her sake, or did you do it for your own pride? It’s not rare to see rich-spoiled kids with bad manners. They are smart and knowledgeable but with zero civility. Where are the parents? Maybe they are too busy to make money or too guilty (by omission) to enforce the rules.
For our little children we’re the world to them, they depend on us. We can heed or ignore their needs… street child, beat child, war child, hurt child, used child, grown child, old child, sad child, lost child, spared child, spoiled child, rich child, poor child, wise child, faith child.
As Christmas is drawing near, we’re reminded about the little and helpless baby Jesus in a manger… and we can decide who we’re going to be: the simple and kind shepherds, the humble and wise Magi, or the arrogant and ruthless King Herod. That’s how we decide our future…
Star-Child, earth-Child, go between of God
Love-Child, Christ-Child, heaven’s lightning rod
Street child – beat child, no place left to go
Hurt child, used child no one wants to know
This year, this year let the day arrive –
when Christmas comes for everyone, everyone alive
Grown child, old child, mem’ry full of years,
Sad child, lost child, story told in tears. Chorus.
Spared child, spoiled child having, wanting more,
Wise child, faith child knowing joy in store. Chorus.
Hope for each Child, God’s stupendous sign
Earth Child, Star of stars that shine. Chorus.
By: Shirley E. Murray and David Haas