This morning, as I flipped through the newspaper, The Star dated 7th June, I came upon pieces of news about an eight year old girl being raped by a naked man in the toilet, six-year-old girl being molested behind her mother’s back at a public place, teenage girl molested by friend’s father….These news aren’t new actually. We read about news like these so often nowadays, including child abuse. What has this world become? May I say it in one word i.e. SICK?
I still remember when I was very young, we could run all over the place without fear. Neighbours were always so kind and watchful over one another’s children. When we went to school by bus, we had peace of mind that we’d reach our destination safely. My parents didn’t need to worry about us being harmed by fellow human beings! Today is a different story altogether. I wonder what causes this change, where people live in fear?
People often tell us to let go…to give our children some freedom or space to grow. It is alright to let them roam so long they know how to get back. Let them be independent, learn to cope on their own, the washroom is just so near – they can go on their own, etc. When we ignored friend’s well-meaning advice, they said we are being over-protective. To me, I’d rather be safe than sorry and I’m sure most parents are too. I still prefer to be watchful from a safe distance.
Bad people who harm children, don’t come as strangers anymore. They come in many forms these days – family members, friends, known persons. Children are usually so trusting but how do we tell them not simply to trust anyone, including those known to them? How do we answer their string of “Whys”? By doing this, are we over-reacting?
A friend said to me this morning that the world is coming to an end. I guess….I have no idea about the future but what I do believe is living right in the present. I’d like to believe that if we do no harm to others, have clear conscience in everything that we do and say, the universe will be kinder to us. People call it “karma” isn’t it. Making our sufferings to be less painful, perhaps.
God blessed us with children, entrusted us to care and nurture them to be good, mature individuals. Shower them with love, guide them towards the right path as they grow up. What values we share with them will be the ones they teach to their children. It’s like a circle, isn’t it?
Children, it is true that parents can be a pain on the sides. Saying “NO” to almost everything, especially to requests for more freedom. This is especially relevant to teenagers. My belief is that parents can’t give away total freedom because you may not be ready to handle it. Let’s try step by step. You are going to live under your parents’ roof for the next few years only. Then, you’ll be away from home to continue with your higher education. That’s where you exercise your freedom. I’d like to think that, by then, you’ll be more mature to handle it well.
For now, it’s good if you’ll heed your parents’ advice. Seek understanding. That would set as a strong foundation for you when you leave home one day. For the majority and loving parents, they will give their lives away to protect their young ones. No way would they want their children to be harmed in any ways. If they have magic wands, they would fully utilise it to provide their children 24/7 protective shield, at a wave of the wand! We know we can’t have that so we offer our prayers to you. May you be fully aware of your surroundings and know how to act to keep you safe always.