Text: Aili Pasanen
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
In the morning dusk of the day commemorating children’s rights I was watching the Finnish flag flying on its pole. My mind was suddenly flooded with memories of my childhood and of the many children I have met over the decades.
I had a safe childhood. It got all that I needed and all that was possible to get in my family’s circumstances at that time. I am sure many children today would find that kind of life very inadequate. But we had a lot of love and a lot of forgiveness.
Generally speaking, Finnish children live well and are even supported by society. Yet, many children feel insecure.
There are broken homes where children have to take responsibility for things that should never fall on children’s shoulders. They may outwardly seem to live a good life. They may not lack anything material, but may lack the feeling of being secure and loved.
In some homes children may not be allowed to be children. They may be introduced too early into the world of adults to experience things that are way beyond their developmental level. The adults close to such children need sensitive ears to hear and sensitive eyes to see those children’s distress.
According to the UN Declaration of Children’s Rights, each child has a right to a name, nationality, physical, mental and social development, social security and education. So many rights have been recorded in that declaration that it would be useful for all those who work with children to read it once in a while.
Each child is valuable in him- or herself regardless of their heritage, appearance and possible handicap. Children are especially important because they are here for the future. When they grow up, they will assume responsibility. We can learn a lot from the sincerity of children, but children also need adults to show them how to live together with other people.
Niilo Rauhala has written many poems about the unique value of children. One of his Christmas poems contains these lines:
"Thank you, Jesus, for coming into the harsh world as a baby.
My child also has the right to be born, to live,
and to accept his arduous journey from the same hand
that outlined Your journey in life
before the foundation of the world was laid.
My child will also start his journey with innocent eyes,
which meet mine after a heavy day.
The song of those eyes is not yet broken,
I listen with hope, watching Your journey, Jesus."
I think these simple lines reflect the value of the child, the very gist of children’s rights. Each child has a right to be born and to live. The child is also an example for faith.
At this exceptional time, many people long to experience the joy of Christmas brought by children. Even adults need to feel child-like and free from worry. They need to feel that they are not responsible for everything but can feel happy about small things.
Lasten ja nuorten pahoinvointi on otsikoissa usein. Aiheesta puhuttiin hiljattain pidetyillä Kirkon kasvatuksen päivillä. Yhtenä sen ilmenemismuotona käsiteltiin nuorten kokemaa yksinäisyyttä, jota korona-ajan arvellaan entisestään lisänneen.
Siionin Joulu on lehti joulun kristillistä sanomaa kaipaavalle. Lehti on värikäs, aikaansa heijastava. Hartauksien lisäksi siinä on haastatteluja eri puolilta maailmaa.
Lohdullisia ja riemullisia lauluja taivaasta Jämsän Kristillinen Kansanopiston kuoron laulamana.