On a Saturday evening, as I was waiting for my friend, I noticed a jolly trio – a French grandmother with two boys. “Mamie, mamie!”, spinning around her with joy and a blissful ignorance of the world around them. She was their world. They were her world.
Their chatter was incessant, questions followed by affirmations, without any need for answers. They had the confidence of someone who is loved, cherished and treated on an equal footing. I knew why, the moment she kneeled down.
She appeared so well-grounded. Being well-grounded is the greatest gift a parent and grand-parent can make to a child. Something tells me these two boys will turn into well-grounded adults and one day they will kneel down to talk to their kids.
Kids only mirror and give what they receive.
Pamela B. Paresky PhD writes in her article “Meet the teen who discovered the secret of social capital” in Psychology Today: “As a rule, we don’t teach children to tend, defend, and befriend those without social status — to spend social capital on targets of derision and exclusion.» https://www.psychologytoday.com. This deserves reflection and action, for the good of all concerned.
I saw this happening in my high school, then latter in life at my child’s kindergarten. Many do see, not many act. The choice between social capital, which can be replenished, and the dignity and life of the other should be straightforward. Moreover, kindness and warmheartedness are not energies spent. They are energy fuels.
Kids at any age only mirror the parents and adults in their lives. Let us fuel kindness and courage to not be afraid to spend well our social capital. And then it will not be even necessary to ask children to do so. It will become a natural flow of social captal to serve humanity.
for my dearest people who make me feel at home, regardless of the time which passed since our last encounter. You know who you are.
for my first eight-pairs-of-hands-baking experience with orphan girls in the care of Diaconia and a chance to share with them a baking atmosphere I had with my grandmother.
for my daughter’s enthusiasm and support: “Mom, you were such a pro, juggling the parallel teams at baking!”.
for Diaconia’s wonderful team of people whose dedication I admire from the bottom of my heart. Check them out at http://www.diaconia.md.
for allowing young musicians to express themselves under the street lights in Stefan cel Mare park:
for the betterment if your zoo. We can be critical of many things we saw there, yet we choose to appreciate how much it evolved since its establishment 40 years ago
for my school, which celebrated 50 year recently. It was a moment of joy to retrace my steps to and from the school, with my daughter this time around.
for a great number of professionals I met and who do the best they can and aspire to do better, regardless of the circumstances. You know who you are.
and, last but not least, for your splendid autumn colours which stand to remind us of the unique beauty of nature this time of the year.
– We challenge you. No girl will dare to cross this ravine!, shouted my classmate.
The ravine was in deep forest. A fallen tree served as a “bridge”. Of all the 10 year old girls it had to be me the one to respond to the challenge. The whereabouts of adults accompanying us is blank in my memory.
I started crossing it. I still remember the depth of the ravine when I looked half way through. Someone shouted “Do not look down!”. It was the my classmate. Or perhaps my guarding angel. I managed to cross it and return, in one piece. Except couple of my curly hairs taken by the subtle air current between trees.
As my child embarks into the age of stretching limits and testing boundaries I want her to do it because she wants it and not because someone challenges her. I also want her to understand what it means to challenge others. Does it help her and the other kid grow and become a better human?
I want to believe that all parents explain to their kids what it means to challenge and be challenged and that the final choice if theirs. I also trust that we, as adults, show this by our actions and through our words. Because kids give what they receive.
An ordinary day in Strasbourg. Kids are on the river.
An ordinary day in the European Parliament. MPs are in their comfy chairs in the modern tower of Babel.
Let’s switch their places for a while: MPs – on the river and let the kids play in the tower.
As an MP, if you want to have the floor, you’d have to paddle to the chair, against the wind, the waves, the rain into your face…
If you want to talk to a lobbyist, you’ll have to paddle to the bank (of the river)… .
For committees’ works, you’ll have to do it in the open. Whispering will not work, as the passing by boats can be noisy. And there is no air-conditioning to protect from the boats’ emissions…
Perhaps, this will make the MPs hear the voice of kids, when they demand care for the Earth, nature, the health and well-being of generations to come.