Once upon a time there was a little girl.
She was born into a family who loved her and watched her grow with delight. She spent her time running around, falling over, fighting with her siblings, playing with her friends, making up with her siblings, fighting with her friends, cycling towards magical kingdoms, spending never-ending days on the beach, and being happy.
She was me.
The magical kingdoms still exist.
Celebrate Universal Children‚Äôs Day and find yours.
-Julie Anne Young
To celebrate Universal Children‚Äôs Day, I share with you the 1954 poem of the late, great Dorothy Law Nolte who so eloquently expresses guidelines for older generations to help children navigate the perilous waters of their youth – to emerge as strong, successful and compassionate adults.
Children Learn What They Live
If children live with hostility,
they learn to fight.
If children live with ridicule,
they learn to be shy.
If children live with tolerance,
they learn to be patient.
If children live with encouragement,
they learn confidence.
If children live with praise,
they learn to appreciate.
If children live with fairness,
they learn justice.
If children live with security,
they learn faith.
If children live with approval,
they learn to like themselves.
If children live with acceptance, and friendship,
they learn to find love in the world.
A new born child is like clay. An adult is a reflection of the circumstances that has moulded him/her to his/her present. As a child, a human being lives in his/her purest form. The world calls it innocence. Does a newborn baby know what its religion is? Does the baby know whether it is rich or poor? Does the infant know which region does it belong to? We are born with a mind as blank as a slate. We are an echo of the hand that has written on our slate.
November celebrates the spirit of childhood universally. In India, Children’s Day is celebrated on November 14, the birthday of India’s first prime minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru or Chacha (Uncle) Nehru as he was fondly called by kids. Nehru believed that children should be nurtured carefully as they are the citizens of tomorrow.
I remember as a kid we used to have cultural program in school on November 14. Unlike kids performing on stage, which was a usual affair, on this particular day teachers used to perform for us. After the program was over we all used to go to class where the class teacher distributed sweets and snacks. Those days will not come back, but it‚Äôs difficult not to watch ‘Tom & Jerry’. I know I am not the only person in the world when I say as a kid I hated drinking milk.
Once I was stuck in a heavy traffic jam in the scorching heat of a June afternoon. People were impatient. Horns ¬†honked madly. Amidst all that chaos I saw a smiling face. The child was sitting on the wooden plank of a bicycle cart. Her age could not be more than two and amidst all the confusion and swearing she was giggling in all her glory. Her mouth was covered with saliva, but that did not bother her. She was enjoying the chaos.
When her luminous eyes met my eyes I could not help but smile back. That was one scene in the stage of life which got etched in my mind forever. This picture not only celebrates innocence, but also sends an important message. Life can be harsh at times. Confront your problems with a smile and you will feel things getting easier.
KEEP THE CHILD IN YOU ALIVE AND YOU WILL BE A HAPPY ADULT
November 20 marks the day that the UN ratified the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.
Get to know your rights and help protect children.