“Childhood means simplicity. Look at the world with the child’s eye—it is very beautiful.”
If you think back to your own childhood growing up what words would you use to describe it? Care free? Stressfree? Wonderful? Or could it perhaps be the opposite of these and actually an unpleasant memory. I hope that it was not the latter. I’m sure there may be other words you could use for either positive or negative experiences but for the purpose of today’s message Indian social reformer Kailash Satyarthi described childhood as meaning simplicity. If we look at things through their own lens what we would see is, in his opinion, a beautiful world. For me and how I remember my childhood I would concur with his take on what childhood means.
Childhood should be a time for children to be in school and at play, growing strong and confident with the love and encouragement of their family and an extended community of caring adults. Children should feel a sense of comfort and protection and embrace the world with their arms wide open. There shouldn’t be any fear in their eyes and their potential is limitless. I realize that in this day in age this unfortunately is a rarity and it was even before this pandemic. Reasons as to why this may be occurring is due to the changing conditions of a family: loss of a parent or family member or even divorce. Another could be the families’ socio-economic struggles they may be experiencing. Parent stress can lead to their children to becoming stressed themselves unintentionally because they cannot cope with how to handle things and it ultimately affects the family dynamics. When I was in elementary school we had SAT’s in Maryland but they were not considered high stakes testing and just provided schools and the families with information as to how each child was performing compared to the national average. Now a days state testing can keep a student help back in a certain grade level which has caused unnecessary anxiety in many of our 9 year olds. In my opinion there are too many pressures placed on our children when the focus should be on helping them discover their why and what they were destined to be.
Our children and the childhood they should be experiencing should not be so scripted as much as it has become now. Many are growing up way too fast and their life stories are being written not by them but by others or by the hand life overall may have dealt them. We need to remember that they need to be the author of their own stories. All outside pressures should be alleviated from their minds and it is our duty as their caregivers to shield them from any harm. We need to endure the pain that comes from the outside world and protect them so that they have the opportunity to develop their own moral compass and experience life as a child as it should be.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards defining/refining your own moral compass?