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Shame on Us Grownups

value of children I remember when I was a kid and thought the year 2000 was a million years away. That’s because as a kid you can’t really see yourself as an old(er) person, a grownup, an adult. A child lives and thinks in the present.

I figured out that in the year 2000 I would be 42 years old, and that was something I couldn’t see, let alone believe.

And here it is, 2013, if you are good at math, then you know how old I am. And I’m still thinking like a kid, or maybe I just want to as long as possible.

People tell me I have a natural connection with children. For whatever reason that may be, I see it as one of the most valuable gifts I have been given.

Children are our most prized and valuable “resource” because they force us to stay in the present, while hoping for a better future. Unfortunately, children are at the bottom of the priority list for governments and world leaders. Take a look at any country in social, economic, or spiritual trouble, and I guarantee you that the children are suffering the most.

My love for kids is not unrealistic, nor do I view them as little princes and princesses (as modern culture often does). This perspective reflects lack of real respect and genuine interest in children for who they truly are.

They are people in various stages of youth. They have feelings. They are valuable to God and His creation. They are worthy of our attention, resources, time and, most importantly, love. Their wellbeing is a direct reflection of our ability to take care of ourselves. They are “us” in the future.

Unfortunately, I see poverty even in the wealthiest countries when it comes to our children. From the poorest of neighborhoods in the far east to the malls of Los Angeles, our children are starving.

Mother Theresa said that the worst poverty of all is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved. It has been my experience that this is true.

Wherever I go and meet children and young people, their main fear is that of being forgotten, ignored, unloved. It has nothing to do with money and everything to do with what we adults, leaders, society, and governments deem valuable.

Shame on us grownups.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lee Ann Vermeulen-Roberts is a writer, composer and music producer. Lee Ann sponsors a child from Indonesia and is the Kids Crew Compassion ambassador for Compassion Netherlands.