We Have to Begin with the Children
In the words of Ghandi, "If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children." After all, it is all about the children. As parents and child caregivers, as educators, as legislators, it is vital that we recognize that children are, indeed, our future.
Ghandi also advised, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”
Ghandi’s words are a call to action all of mankind, and action can even take place one step at a time, one person at a time. In the immortal words of John F. Kennday, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” It is our duty as parents, educators, legislators, and as citizens of our country – as citizens of the world – to do our part to make for a better, safer, happier, and healthier world for children. That means addressing such things as world peace, better education for children, childhood poverty, gun violence, the exploitation, neglect and abuse of children, and better health care.
UNICEF's most recent report on child poverty in developed countries found that 30 million children in 35 of the world's richest countries live in poverty. Among those countries, the United States ranks second on the scale of what economists call "relative child poverty" -- above Latvia, Bulgaria, Spain, Greece, and 29 others. Only Romania ranks higher, with 25.5 percent of its children living in poverty, compared with 23.1 percent in the U.S. Such statistics are alarming.
In the wake of the Newtown massacres of children, a new national conversation about addressing gun reform, mental health issues, and our culture of violence has begun. Talking is not enough, especially since our Congress seems reluctant, out of fear and concern for their own political viability, to do what needs to be done to address such things as peace, education, poverty, gun violence and other pressing issues that so dramatically impact our children.
It is our duty to ensure that every child is given a healthy and safe head start, a fair start, and a moral start in life. It is our duty to be a strong, effective, independent and collective voice for all the children who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves. We must use our voices – speaking loud and clear – we must use our votes – considered and wise – to urge Congress to do its job on behalf of our children.
Find out how to be a part of the new grassroots movement, Organizing for Action, and help to provide for a better world for our children. Even one person can make a difference, and, as John Kennedy advised, “….everyone should try.”