This is part of #theimpossible series
The Impossible Will Take A Little While, Chapter 3, Marian Wright Edelman on standing up for children
Before I start, is it strange that I feel obligated to admit I have no children? That I feel compelled to reassure others that I like children just fine, but never wanted my own? That I feel burdened to convince any listeners that my thoughts on children, under these circumstances, are still valid?
Oh well, here we go then.
“We have the money. We have the know-how. And we have the responsibility to ensure all children what we now provide for some children. God did not make two classes of children and will hold us accountable for every one of them.
The great events of this world are not battles and elections and earthquakes and thunderbolts. The great events are babies, for each child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged with humanity, but is still expecting goodwill to become incarnate in each human life.
What legacies, principles, values, and deeds, will we stand for and send to the future through our children, and to a world desperately hungering for moral leadership and community?”
Imagine seeing, in every new child, infinite potential for goodness! To put one’s faith in positive visions. To refuse to be intimated or silenced in one’s pursuit of these beautiful, just futures. To know that one’s everyday actions are instrumental in making it all come true. Surely this is a powerful kind of hope!
But I can glimpse a new, personally appealing hope in the following observation:
“One of the reasons I believe so many millions of children are left behind…is that too many in power and of privilege distinguish between their own children and other people’s children.”
I immediately wonder, What kinds of edifying experiences might only knowing other people’s children offer? What kinds of hope are lived, and tendered, by the childless?