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Learning from children


 
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Learning from Children

Our work with children has been a "school" for solidarity with all the poor: the difficulty children often have in expressing their needs has in a certain sense "forced" us to listen carefully to others, whoever they are. Children in particular have taught us to listen to those whose voices are stifled or are too weak to be heard. Our work with children has shown us how to understand and respect others and how to respond to their needs even when they are expressed badly or not at all.font>

 

 

If it is true that children have much to learn, it is also true that children have much to teach us. They show us the value of trust and the power one gains in trusting others. They have taught us not to hide our human weakness. Somehow, they have taught us that every one of us needs the help of others - not only to grow from childhood to maturity, but also to find happiness as an adult or as a person advanced in years. Looking closely at the difficult lives our children and teen-agers lead, we have learned to see and to recognise the evils of our society.

 

The Value of "Littleness"

 In the Gospel we read, "Unless you become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven." (Mt 18:3) Certainly Jesus didn't mean his disciples to live in a childish way and to be eternally incapable of taking on responsibilities. He means something else altogether. Our children have shown us the the "being little" of which the Gospel speaks;the true humility found in entrusting one's life to God is a quality we have seen manifested in the serenity and joy of the children's lives.

In our relationships with children, we have sought to respect them first of all. Even when we deal with so-called "problem" children, who are often expelled from school and shunned in society generally because of their trouble in expressing their complex feelings properely, we always see a person who has great potential for growth and who needs the trust of other people. So we have made the defence of the "little ones' the motive behind all we do.

Now as ever we seek to take the side of children and teenagers, so as to protect them and help them to grow -- not as teachers or social workers, but as older friends who care about their lives and try to resist the forces, beginning with those in school, that  would push them to the margins of society.

 

The Youngest


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