Imagine yourself walking along the street early in the morning. It’s a very beautiful day and seems that everything is okay, birds are singing, flowers are dancing, everybody is cheering. It’s a great day and an almost perfect day! You’re on your way and very excited to go to work when suddenly, a 4 and 5 year old kid wearing rugged dresses approach you begging for a single penny so they can buy something to eat. When you reach the bus terminal another kid approaches you this time begging for any help because his father or mother is sick. After a few minutes while waiting for your shuttle service a group of teenagers in their school uniforms pass by. They look normal until one of them lighted a stick of cigarette and share it to the other members of the group. Not so far away from where you’re standing are group of youngsters probably approaching teenage. They are happily running and playing around the terminal when you notice a strange thing in their hands, a bottle of rugby.
At work, after a busy day some of your workmates invited you to have some snack at Mac Donald’s. Even if it’s not yet pay day for the sake of friendship you went with them. At Mac Donald’s you ordered the cheapest burger with a drinks. While waiting for your order a pair of young couple at the corner caught your attention. They’re very showy and very sweet to each other. It’s like they are the only people in the world to think that they are in a public place wearing their high school uniforms. After a few more minutes your order arrived and when you’re about to take a bite of your yummy burger a kid knocks at the transparent wall of the store begging for your leftover.
Then, one Saturday morning while you’re on your way to school you met a kid wearing a lousy shirt and pants full of dirt sitting at the stairs of the LRT station with her younger sibling crying and holding her tummy. They have not eaten anything for the past few days. They are holding an untidy small can and begging for any help.
After the class you and your friends decided to go to your favorite hang out just to have a small talk. While at the park, sitting on a bench, marveling at the sceneries a group of 4 to 5 kids come near you selling some candies, mangoes, peanuts and chips. Each of them is trying to convince you to buy something from them so they can have something to remit to their parents.
Since it is still early you decided to drop by at the nearest computer shop to research for your reports and assignments in school. The noise inside the shop is really irritating. Somebody is cursing, others are shouting, screaming and cheering. Then soon you’ll notice majority of the customers are kids hooked and addicted to computer games.
After a very tiring day you’ll go home, open your television just to be entertained only to find out the headline news about a young girl who was raped and killed by her own father, or uncle, or grandfather or a family friend. You switched channels and there it goes another heart – breaking news about an infant left by someone in the trashcan.
The world has been so harsh to those kids. Every day is like a battle for them. Those scenarios really break my heart. I hope I can do something to help them. I wish I can be a hero so I can take away their burdens.
Kids are helpless. They still need someone to guide, support and protect them. They still don’t know what they’re doing. They are still innocent and very fragile. They should not be in the street or somewhere else begging for pennies. They should not be the one working for their parents. They should not be the one sacrificing for the whole family.
In the first place God did not create them for that purpose. They are created to be loved and cared for. It is just so sad to hear that a lot of cases like I mentioned above are very rampant in our society. Who then are at fault?
As an adult it should be our duty to look over those kids, to take care of them and make sure that they are always safe and okay. I just can’t understand why things like child begging for pennies, child laboring for the family, child being abused, child addicted to something are very rampant nowadays. I was also questioning their parents how can this be happening. How can they allow their child to go and beg for pennies in the street or labor for their own sake? Even animals I believe don’t allow their youngsters to work for them because they know that as parents it is their responsibility to take good care of their babies and to provide for their needs.
While writing this piece I remember the 2 kids whom I have met few weeks ago at the Sunday school. The young boy is 9 years old and his sister is 7 years old. They are new so they caught my attention. After the class I got the chance to talk to them and hear their stories. At first you won’t really notice that they are into something but once you get the chance to listen to them and ask about themselves and their family they will boldly share their hardships. The young boy is the bread winner of the family. He goes to school in the morning and works in the afternoon until 11:00 pm. He works for 8 hours. He has day offs too and receives below minimum wage salary. I didn’t realize that a 9 year old kid can be very responsible like that and I didn’t know that working on a regular basis for a 9 year old kid is permissible. I even asked if that is with the permission of his parents and he boldly answers “yes”. I know that a kid can work provided that he has a parental consent like young stars we see on the television but not a kid working for someone on a regular basis like what adults do.
With that story I realized kids are really very innocent and gullible. They still don’t know how to fight for their rights. They still don’t know when to say “yes” or “no” to the world.
The “Resilient Team” or Team 2 defined “children or kids” as the jewels of our society and I strongly support their claim. They really are and they are far more precious than any gemstones. But how come that we are not treasuring those jewels instead we are treating them as ordinary stones with no value at all.
Kids never fail to make us smile. According to many they have that extraordinary power and charisma that can melt someone’s heart too. I myself had proven that many times. Growing up with kids is really an amazing experience. There were a lot of times when I can no longer hold my temper because of the hard headedness of my siblings but whenever I see them crying my heart melts.
I also remember when we were still in elementary and in high school I, my sibling and cousins were really extreme when we’re together. We were really noisy to the point of irritating our “oldies” at home. There were no days that we we’re not scolded because of the “noise pollution” we’re creating. Our grandparents’ home is our playground and everyday is like a party.
When we’re already in college we only go home once a week. The house is quiet during weekdays but chaos comes during weekends. Now everybody is away and is now working in different places and comes home once in a blue moon. Whenever we’re together it’s like we have not seen each other for a century. We also notice our grandparents are not getting mad with our loudness anymore not only because we’re already adults but it’s like they’re also missing us especially our laughter and loud voices. They always look forward to our visit. I just realized though we always irritate our oldies at home before I believe it’s just their façade because we know that we are loved and everything that we do brings joy in their heart.
Good thing they have their “new angel” now, our first and only niece whom we actually named “Faith Angelie”, the baby girl who took our place and she’s still enjoying the “only baby” title of our grandparents for more than 3 years now. She is the apple of the eyes of everybody especially her great grandparents, grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles. Though irritating sometimes because of her talkativeness but she never fail to make us smile.
Notice a home with a kid or kids compare to a home without one. This made me remember about my own story when I was a kid. I, my siblings and cousins grew up in an environment where we are like the most important being in this planet. We grew up with our lovable grandparents. We stayed in a house where we now termed as “our big house”. Everybody grew up there, my father and his 3 siblings and I, my 4 siblings and my 5 cousins and this time our one and only niece. It’s just so funny to recall that when we were kids we’re really loved and we’re a bit spoiled to our grandparents. Anything we ask anything we want is always automatic. I was considered the youngest child of my grandparents yet the eldest grandchild. I was very much loved. When I was born it’s like everything went right and everything fell on their proper places.
My father and mother’s story is a typical story of a boy meets girl but boy’s parents are against girl. They tried to live their own life a bit far from boy’s family but since they’re still young they opted to stay with boy’s parents first while earning for their own. Boy’s parents continued to dislike girl but when I came out into this world everything changed and I became my grandparents’ pet.
I still remember those unforgettable memories with them. Having coffee together at 4:00 AM was the best bonding we had with my grandfather when I was like 2, 3, 4, to 5 years old. He used to wake up early in the morning for his “flocks” (carabao, cows, goats, and chicken…tsk tsk tsk…). It was he whom I learned to dip a biscuit into the coffee and he whom I learned to get up before the sun rises. Where my grandmother is where you’ll find me. I was like a “baby guard” to her. For my grandparents I’m the most precious being in the planet that time more precious than my father and his siblings.
After a year my brother was born. He is like my twins. But since he’s younger he took my place and became the “new pet” of the family. After another year, another brother came and after another year another brother and cousin came then after another year another cousin came and after another year our youngest sister came and after few months another cousin was born after 6 years another cousin came and after another 6 years our youngest cousin was born. We all became “babies” of our grandparents. Though sometimes there were “conflicts” between our parents they still managed to reconcile and have peace talks all for the sake of us.
The reason why I’m sharing a bit of my story is to relate that a child really plays a big role in the lives of each adult around him / her. They are like angels who have the ability to lighten the mood and make everything alright with just one smile. I really enjoyed my childhood days. I enjoyed the attention of all the people around me being the apple of their eyes and an unconscious clown to them.
I was 1 year old when my brother came, 3 when another brother came, 4 when another brother came and 6 when our youngest sister came. It was just so funny to remember that at the age of 6 I became a mother, a teacher and not only an older sister to them.
I was 5 when my father went abroad and my mother went “away”. We were left at our grandparents’ house. My grandparents were also working so at a very young age, I learned to cook rice, fried and boiled something just to have something for my brothers and sisters to eat. I learned to fetch water just for them to have something to drink. I learned to wash clothes though not that perfect just to help out at home. I was the one feeding them when they’re hungry, the one beside them singing lullabies when they cannot sleep, the one getting up early just to prepare their things for school, their hero when someone is bullying them.
I saw their first step especially our third, fourth and youngest. I heard their first word. I was their first teacher. I was the one who taught them how to write their names, how to count numbers, sing ABCs and read “abakadas”.
It was a bit hard and challenging acting as a mother to 4 at 6 years old but GOD has been so gracious and here we are now all graduated in college with a degree and now having our own careers. If not because of God’s greatness and amazing love and if He did not use our grandparents to love and care for us probably we’ll also be like those kids begging pennies in the street or laboring to live but GOD is really good in our lives despite of everything. Those experiences also made me of who I am now much stronger, determined and courageous.
As a young individual I cannot actually say that much about kids the only thing I can sight are the experiences I had with them. I cannot even brag that I have had enough of those experiences to be a good educator someday. I am still in the process of learning things and having this kind of subject dealing with kids who are our priority once be become educators is a great help.
Kids are very easy to please and are easily won. We just have to show them that we care for them, we value them, and we appreciate them. As an adult it should be our responsibility to protect and guide them. If I’ll be a teacher and will be assigned to handle small kids I’ll really be very careful because I believe I am one of those responsible in laying their foundation.
Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it. – Proverbs 22:6. That’s my personal take in dealing with our youngsters. We have to guide and direct them to the right path as early as now and should not wait until they are old. We should not be underestimating them. They know and they understand.
If and only all adults are responsible probably we can no longer see those kids in the street. It’s not enough that we give them food or money. What they really need is us. It may sound idealistic but if we will join together we can conquer those issues. As a future teacher we should be very sensitive. Remember that we are the second parents. Jesus loves the children. He entrusted them to us so we ought to act now to protect them and fight for their rights.
I believe the reason why I have this extraordinary passion for the kids is because of the genuine love I got and still getting from the people around me especially from my family who are my super fan. I’m blessed that I have a great childhood background not that perfect but it helps me a lot to be a better individual.