When I lived in Glasgow, many years ago, my two elder sons aged 5 and 7 learned a song at school:
Jesus bids us shine with a pure, clear light,
Like a little candle burning in the night,
In this world of darkness, Jesus bids us shine,
You in your small corner and me in mine.
Maybe you’ll think I’m stupid, but it always moved me. Why? Because it’s about the purity of a child, about kindness and above all the right of a child to believe.
Believe in what? I hear you say.
It doesn’t matter whether you substitute Mohammed, Buddha or Jupiter Optimus Maximus for Jesus, it’s what we should bring our children up to believe in – about a culture of kindness. The hidden meaning of pure, clear light is innocence and kindness. This is the same in any religion It’s about that pure, clear light that emanates from the eyes of a child of any hue or culture.
Children are our hope and investment for the future. We have a duty to protect them where and whenever we can. Every time a child is abused sexually, mentally or physically it happens because they trust their abuser. It is our duty to ourselves and out morality to ensure their safety, and not allow abuse of the trust any child should be able to bestow upon any adult.
And what of the reality? Children the world over are right now being abused by the people who they should have been able to trust, by wars, local violence, by systems which deny them a decent life.
But I reflect on what I’m doing about it myself. Talk is cheap but gin costs money. The truth is it isn’t enough to just donate to UNICEF. Once I finally retire (about 18 months) I think I have to find a way to do something although I must say I’m still trying to work out just what I should do.
I guess I’ll be judged by whether I actually put my money where my mouth is over the next few years, or not – you have the right to ask