What is sad, is not only was this child’s ability to communicate with others completely inhibited, but also the ability for him to form thoughts and express his feelings and emotions. His inner self was bankrupt, not because he had it and lost it, but because it never had a chance to form and grow!
The ability to think through, identify and share our innermost feelings is unique to the human being. We have the ability to empathize, understand, share, feel anger, fright, joy, excitement, and anxiety, and what’s more we have the capability to share each of these feelings with others. We also have the potential for achievement and fulfilling dreams.
As youngsters we imagine what we’ll be when we grow up. Little boys often dream of being a race car driver, firefighter, cowboy, policeman or farmer. Little girls want to teach, be a nurse, a momma or ballerina. As the little ones grow into teenagers the boys want to be a veterinarian, programmer, engineer, or biologist and girls want to be photographer, author, clothes designer, or model. We are given the ability to consider all our options due to life experiences and education, weigh the odds or pros and cons from a variety of different perspectives, reflect on our own feelings regarding each of the options, and do the necessary research to finally make a good decision about what we want to do with our life.
I can’t imagine what it would be like to be unable to communicate how I feel with others or make a decision based on my likes, dislikes, education, and natural abilities. Yet, there are children world wide, while perhaps not nearly in as bad a shape as the little guy in the 1800’s mentioned in the opening paragraph, who live a life completely depleted of many of the basics of life most of us take for granted. They are starving for food, in need of medicine and decent housing, robbed of an education, emotionally wrought and craving for tender loving care.
To be human is a unique gift, yet sometimes we not only forget it, we don’t even think about it. It’s fascinating watching my grandchildren grow. As a parent I was awed as I watched them change from newborns, to toddlers, preschoolers, teens and finally adults. But those changes were intermingled with the task of parenting, work and “life,” causing fatigue and missed moments. As a grandparent, the joy of just “watching” is wonderful! To see my grandchildren grow within their specific families, at all the different stages without the obligation of “parenting” creates it’s own joy.
Children are an amazing gift we, as parents, grandparents and as a society, should cherish rather than letting slip away. They learn from us the importance of communication skills, how to show love and respect for others and how to use their unique human abilities to make a better world.
Do the children in your “corner of the world” see demonstrated, the best in human qualities? Perhaps this is the time to reflect on how we project our own communication skills. Do we like what we are projecting or should there be some positive changes?