Sunday, August 06, 2006

Welcome the children

In an Ordinary world, people rarely do violence to one another, emotional or physical. The strife revealed in Love as Retribution and Wounded Dog are unheard.

Is this possible in our world today? Consider:
  • In the world of Ordinary, people of child-bearing age take care to conceive only when they are certain of their desire and ability to nurture their child with tenderness and love. Every birth is cause for high celebration. Every child is cherished.

  • Ordinary children are nurtured not only by their parents, but by all the villagers, each of whom feels responsibile for the well-being of the children.

    Because they were raised, themselves, in loving homes and a supportive community, the adults have full capacity to provide appropriate care. No child need fear the misguided—or worse—adult. There are no "funny" uncles or aunties in Ordinary.

  • Children and adults in Ordinary are encouraged to explore their individual creativity, to develop their highest talents, and to share their creative work with the world. Work is play.

  • Children are taught responsibility from an early age, and even the smallest children share age– and skill–appropriate chores. This sense of responsibility carries through a lifetime.

    While each Ordinary inhabitant contributes her or his best skills and knowledge—people who love to cook work more in the kitchens and bakeries; people who love to teach or build or garden work more often in classrooms, construction, or the fields—everyone rotates through chores in all other disciplines.

    This ensures respect for all the labor required to maintain the village and meet the needs of its people and their animal companions.

The children, receiving carefully considered attention, instruction, and ample love, learn early to respond to others with compassion and love. Cooperation, respect, and understanding are as natural a part of their lives as air and breath.

In her book Sent by Earth: A message from the Grandmother Spirit after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Alice Walker tells of the Dagara people of Burkina Faso:

The most important thing that happens in a person 's life is that they be welcomed when they are born. If they are not welcomed, all their lives they experience a feeling of not quite having arrived. There is anxiety. There is unease.

Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, in their book Freakonomics: A rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything, suggest provocatively that legalized abortion so cut the incidence of unwanted children as to instigate an unexpected and dramatic drop in crime of all types throughout the nation, stunning researchers and government planners alike.

They attribute this dramatic drop twenty years after the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision to the single fact that women ill-prepared to support a child emotionally, physically, and financially now had a choice. Fewer unwanted children were born. The cycles of poverty, drug and alcohol addiction, and crime were interrupted.

While there is much to be said on both sides of the issue of abortion, one thing is certain: In societies around the world, where children are loved and desired from conception, nurtured by their communities, and offered ample opportunity to explore their talents, crime and strife are nearly non-existent.

Could it be possible that bringing only wanted children into the world, welcoming them joyously, and consciously meeting their needs day to day could change the world and bring about world peace at last?

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. No question! So much of the work I have done as a therapist is about dealing with needs that didn't get met in early life. The need for unconditional positive regard at the level of being, combined with appropriate guidance for behavior--doing--would have made so much difference. And we all need that no matter what age.


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