National Children’s Month is celebrated every November here in the Philippines mandated by Republic Act No. 10661 to recognize the value of Filipino Children as the most valuable assets in the society.
The government and NGOs around the country observe this month-long celebration to campaign for an end in violence against children and to promote their physical, emotional, moral, spiritual and intellectual well-being.
My friends from Basadours, a group of volunteer ambassadors for reading and storytelling in Cebu, asked for my thoughts on children.
We must nurture the inner child within all of us. Because when we recognize and obey our deepest longings and dreams, we allow every child (and adult) to become who they truly are. We have to respect and empower the becoming process of every individual.
Why? Because dysfunctional individuals messed up by external factors from parent’s expectations, peer pressure and social norms are likely to cause abuse of any kind. That’s why our inner child has to be revisited, listened and supported every now and then. Only when we draw compassion from within, we can see the beingness of every child in and around us.
“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.”
Khalil Gibran, The Prophet (on Children)