Saturday, July 13, 2013
"Blessed be childhood, which brings down something of heaven into the midst of our rough earthliness." -- Henri Frederic Amiel
There is a now famous political slogan that said, "It's the economy, stupid!" When we talk of the future of our planet, of peace on earth, of harmony and love, it's not the economy--it's the children. An old friend of mine, Art Arthur, now deceased played a large part in the formation of UNICEF by shooting a film shortly after WWII that was called "What About The Children?" The war correspondents covering the war could see that if nothing was done for the children who were the victims of wars not of their creating, there would be nothing but wars in the future. They (these few war photographers) believed and hoped that creating a lasting hope for the children of war would bring with it a much more hopeful future. They were and are right. UNICEF was created partly as a result of that film and it has done much to change the conditions of children all over the world, but it would be a serious mistake to think that one agency alone can fix things. We have to fix things, one child at a time. If we can keep one child from dying of malaria by providing a mosquito net, if we can save one child from cholera by providing clean, safe drinking water, if we can educate one child who can educate others--well, you see where I am going with this. We don't have to change the world all at once, but we do have to change what we can where we can with what we have. To start a small school, to train a mother to keep a baby from dying of diarrhea, to provide one small cup of water that is free of parasites and bacteria--that can and will change the world. Oh, we may never see it, but we should be planting seeds all over the place knowing that we will never sit in the shade of the trees we helped bring to life. Helping just one child is enough if that is all you can do. Christ never talked about numbers, He talked about individual lives and asked us to remember the widows and orphans and to remember that children are glimpses of the kingdom of heaven. The question for us is, do we remember?