Thursday, May 19, 2011

Grow Up!

The governor of California has an illegitimate child.  A mother from Texas kills, then abandons the body of her 6-year-old son.  Legislators all over the country are trying to balance their budgets by cutting school funding.  Every 32 seconds a child is born into poverty in America.  These are all news stories involving American children.  Which one is most important?  Why are they all bad news?  Who is watching out for our kids?

I am going to spare you a rant about the rest of the children of the world (for today) but I am going to rant!   Adults, it is time to step up to the plate and be grown-ups.  It is time for us to make the hard choices.  We need to put kids first in ways that matter to their future.  It is not OK that some kids will not have enough to eat this summer.  It is not OK that we are increasing class sizes and cutting teacher pay when we have not made any sacrifices at all.  It is not OK that we are playing our children so hard in sports for our own entertainment that we are damaging their growth plates and leaving them with pain for life.

Children are a gift to us from a loving God.  Our job is to help them discover the person God created them to be and to teach them what they need to know when they have to manage their own lives.  How many talents will a child discover when he is distracted by hunger?  How well will she do in school when she goes to bed hungry and then tries to concentrate in a room with thirty children clamoring for attention?  What will constant pain do to his ability to maintain strong and healthy relationships?

All of the news items I listed are a result of someone's selfishness.  A man commits adultery and 5 children are harmed by it.  A woman wants a good night's sleep so she overdoses her kid on cough syrup.  People are so worried about their pensions that they will vote against improving (or even maintaining) our schools.  Some CEO makes $5,000,000 a year while the person on bottom works for $15,000.

We expect children to take as much candy as they can grab.  Theoretically that is because they haven't learned self-control or altruism yet.  Adults, it's time for us to step up and exercise some self-control and altruism.  No child is hungry because of her own actions.  No child fails in school in spite of adequate resources for his needs. Children are hungry or fail in school because adults failed to choose what is best for the children.  This is something that can be fixed. Not overnight.  Not painlessly, but one of the privileges of being an adult is getting to choose.  Let's practice a little adult restraint and choose to do something for the kids instead of ourselves.

What can we do?  Start small! Make a donation at the cash register.  Bring a jar of peanut butter to your church.  Walk or take the bus or ride your bike somewhere.  Quit smoking.  Reduce the amount of medical care you consume.  Donate some diapers.  It all adds up like raindrops to a river.  If you can't spare another dollar or minute - smile or wave at a kid - you'll make someone's day. Flex those adult muscles.  The future depends on it!