Today, on World Children’s Day, I’m grateful for the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, as well as the Convention on the Rights of the Child. I’m glad so many people agree that children have the right to a safe, happy, healthy childhood.
I’m especially grateful to live and parent and teach in a place where we know what that looks like. I know there are places where children don’t even get the actual childhood part, much less the safe happy healthy parts, because they’re soldiers or sweatshop workers or victims of human trafficking. It is upsetting that we haven’t made more progress in more than six decades towards making sure that all children get to be kids.
But I am extremely grateful to be able to raise my own kids in a safe place where they have so many opportunities to play and learn. And my school is full of similar lucky kids who have awesome lunches and cute clothes and proper warm outerwear, who have the time and the emotional freedom to play.
I understand that there are people out there who “don’t like children.” I can’t even address that, because “children” are as diverse and unique as adults. I feel like you have to be obtuse or a misanthrope to say such a thing. Regardless, children are the point of humanity. We need them to be okay. If you’ve ever seen Children of Men, you’ve thought about how much we need them. If you haven’t, just imagine a world where no babies are being born. It’s an utterly desolate idea.
It is a privilege to get to watch children be who they are. They have so much ingenuity and originality and humour and curiosity and big-heartedness and open-mindedness. All children deserve this chance to be their true selves.