One of my favorite quotes about life and children is by the romantic Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore.
“Every child that is born is proof that God has not yet given up on human beings.” – Rabindranath Tagore
Antithetic to hopelessness, malice, and hubris it is a beautiful concept and one which helps me to refocus when the inconsequential gain entry into my brain. There is so much to be happy about and thankful for, not just in my life, but in the world subjugating my thoughts to negative energy and/or people is something I always try to remind myself is not an option I can indulge. Before I turned 23 I had travelled to over 35 countries, having spent nearly every school vacation I could, to travel overseas, and when I think about all the cities I have passed through, all the wide open skies, mountain and trees without end, breaking surf and rainbow accented sunsets it is terribly myopic to not see all the beauty there is and all the people I shared my love with.
Miserable people all seem to have one thing in common, selfishness. Obsession with self at the expense of the truth and of others is the surest way to ensure one’s loneliness, failure, and despair. People who have been raised not to feel for others behave callously and maliciously, preventing any meaningful connection — the very same connections which make a full and rich life. Houses full of skeletons have no room for love.
As a mother one of the things I work very hard to instill in my daughter is compassion and an understanding that happiness is found in the responsibility we have in our conduct and our care for others. I always encourage her to pay attention to the reactions of others, their feelings, and the reflexive impact on her own emotions. There are so many negative influences — hatred, deceit, and violence rage from our governments, corporations and for some even their own families. However, to dwell on the apocalyptic and embrace the degenerate through self-harm or harm towards others, is as pathetic and as it is stagnating. I have known many magnanimous and positive people who have enjoyed success and fulfillment in their lives. But malicious minds always dwell in social, intellectual, and emotional idleness. The selfish and greedy are nothing else but patients in quarantine, self-exiled by their own misbehavior and lies.
My hope for my daughter and for all children is that they find fulfillment in their lives, overcoming the obstacles that are placed before them so that they can experience the peace and empowerment which comes from the understanding we are as responsible for each other as we are for ourselves. There is so much trauma and distress that can stand in the way of children from developing a healthy sense of self-respect and thoughtfulness but a stable force emphasizing compassion can make all the difference.