My first thought this morning was children. In the book, “A child is a precious gift,” a publication of Focus on family, a child is described as “…the most precious gift any individual can receive. Like the angels of heaven, little ones live with the purpose to make life gentler and cheerier around them. From the very start, children have a natural tendency to be helpers, always ready to attempt to lift the heaviest bag of groceries or determined to patch up a disagreement between friends; or even parents… Through their selfless and loving actions, children certainly mirror the heart of their Creator seeking to make life’s responsibilities a little less heavy and life’s friendships a little sweeter. Blessing others through their eagerness to lend a helping hand, children are the best kind of gift from above.”
Celebrating my children
We as parents, teachers, society etc., the “receivers” of the gift of a child, so often do not realize the magnitude and responsibility of the gift of a child. I certainly did not when I had my first baby at age 22. In fact, I was still a child myself at that stage of my life; a “broken” child on top of it. Subsequently, my often inadequate parenting skills did its fair share of damage to my four children. Fortunately, I received the blessing of wanting to explore my soul, mind, and heart on a relentless inner journey. This assisted me in making my personal wrongs towards my own children right. I want to celebrate them this morning for the individuals and parents they are.
My thoughts about children this morning extend to the damage we do to children through our own self-righteousness and ignorance. “We,” as parents and teachers, seem to know best in terms of what our children need every day. We seldom ask them for their input. Personally, I, with the wisdom humble self-discovery brings, often do the latter with my four grandchildren. I am ever amazed at their wise and appropriate insights; their ability to add value without hesitation. They make me smile; in fact, they never fail to astonish me when I make the time to see, hear and feel them accurately. We are co-creators of not only their lives but mine as well.
In Nelson Mandela’s inauguration speech on 27 April 1994 he read a poem to describe that we need to take personal responsibility to build others and specifically our children, rather than destruct. The poem was in Afrikaans, written by a poet, Antjie Krog:
Die kind is nie dood nie
die kind lig sy vuiste teen sy moeder
wat Afrika skreeu skreeu die geur van vryheid
in die lokasies van die omsingelde hart
Die kind lig sy vuiste teen sy vader
in die optog van die generasies
wat Afrika skreeu skreeu die geur
van geregtigheid en bloed
in die strate van gewapende trots
Die kind is nie dood nie
nog by Langa nog by Nyanga
nog Orlando, nog by Sharpeville
nog by die polisiestasie in Philippie
waar hy le met ‘n koeel deur sy kop
Die kind is die skaduwee van die soldate
op wag met gewere sarasene en knuppels
die kind is teenwoordig by alle vergaderings en
die kind loer deur die vensters van huise en in die
harte van moeders
die kind wat net wou speel in die die son by Nyanga
die kind wat ‘n man geword het trek deur die
die kind wat ‘n reus geword het trek deur die hele wereld
Sonder ‘n pas
Let us celebrate our children and our country today. Let us live love in every thought, feeling and action we have and take. Let us see the world through the untarnished eyes of a child.
Nkosi Sikelel’ Afrika
On Saturday, 14 November 2015, Dr. Sonia Joubert will host and present a workshop on “How about being a thinkingfit parent?” Information on this workshop will be sent out via this website shortly.