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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: The unique value of children

Vieraskieliset / In-english
26.11.2021 12.00

Juttua muokattu:

19.11. 13:38

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.


Hyvä ja oikeamielinen on Herra, hän neuvoo syntisille tien. Ps. 25:8

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