It was great to see an?op-ed piece?by Bani Dugal, the?Baha?i International Community?s Principal Representative to the UN, in last Thursday?s Jerusalem Post.
Entitled ?Raising children of light?, Bani?s article shows what a threatening and deadly place the world is for so many of the world?s children:
To a child, the world must seem like a confused and perilous place. One need only to sit and watch the grim scenes unfold on television: hundreds of thousands of Sudanese children and mothers huddled together in refugee camps – their worn faces and bodies a testament to the rape and pillage they have survived. Or footage of mothers and children foraging for food in famine-racked North Korea. Or images of children in Southeast Asia, many infected with AIDS, sold to traffickers and living in slave-like conditions.
For many children, these scenes loom just outside the door. As mothers, what do we say to our children? How do we explain the seemingly ceaseless, senseless abuse, violence and killing? How do we do so truthfully and, at the same time, impart hope for a better future?
She then sets out what we – particularly mothers – can and must do to ?impart hope for a better future?.
WHAT ACTIONS, then, can help our children become beacons of light? I would begin by helping them to understand the idea of connectedness – connectedness to their family, their community, their environment and the world. Over the past century, our lived experiences, coupled with scientific and social advances, have gradually broken down the barriers that once compartmentalized our world and its people.
We know that girls and women have the same rights as boys and men and that the oppression of girls and women contributes to the breakdown of communities. We know that, despite sinister notions of racial superiority, we are part of one human race. We know that our commercial activity has a direct and negative impact on our environment and our health.
In other words, there is no ?us? and ?them,? there is only ?us.? This is what I want to teach my children.
Read the whole article. It?s quite short, but thought-provoking and encouraging.