Society's Value for Children

Do we, as a society, really value children? The media and the government would have us believe so. There is a good deal of lip service and serious-faced acknowledgment of children's issues, but actions speak louder than words. If we genuinely cared about children, we would find ways to provide every child with easily and readily available health and dental care, and we would expect our social service agencies to be prevention focused and proactive. We would find ways to ensure that all children had access to good libraries, excellent athletic facilities, and opportunities to grow up well-nourished and safe from violence and harm. We would find ways to provide the best for our children, for everybody's children, simply because they are children. Let us not forget that they will ultimately take charge of this world. Make no mistake about it, the children of the under-privileged will share this country, this globe, with those whose accident of birth has made them privileged. All children have value and worth.

If we genuinely cared about children, and those who take care of them, would there not be a check-out line in the grocery store without candy, gum and trinkets to tempt these munchkins? If a store simply made one line without these temptations, wouldn't you be willing to wait patiently in that line with your children? Wouldn't you feel some gratitude and loyalty toward the store for understanding your position? (There seem to be a small but growing number of grocery stores which now have these! We need more.) Instead, our culture acts as though selling gum is more important than children and the job of parenting. I wonder why anyone who has ever sexually abused a child is ever considered safe amongst children. I wonder why we let repeat drunk driving offenders continue to drive. I marvel at parents who replace the car and pay the increased insurance for a son or daughter who has negligently wrecked a car and managed to live. Surely if we valued, really valued our children, we would protect them-whatever it takes.

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