Friday, November 25, 2011

Nelson Mandela said, "There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children."

This week I wrote about protecting children, in the light of revelations about the Penn State abuse scandal. There are five pieces to explore-

1. Honoring the innocence of children while teaching them about boundaries. Help kids to develop wise trust. Read more.

2. Protect children before protecting institutions like the church or college football programs. Read more.

3. Become a whistleblower for kids in danger. Learn to see the signs of danger, and empower kids to trust their intuition. Read more.

4. Learn to forgive yourself when you fail to see the signs or act on warning signs. Read more.

5. We need to believe that good people do bad things so that we are not blindsided by abuse. Read more.

In the end, it all comes down to what sort of world you choose to dwell in. I imagine a world where children are fiercely protected and people are mindful of the effect of their actions.

I love the ritual among the Masai tribes of African. Even though they were considered the most fearsome of all warriors, they use a greeting that is amazingly gentle. They greet each other with the words, “Kasserian ingera?’ which means “How are the children?” Even warriors with no children of their own would give the answer, ‘All the children are well.”

If the children are well, it is well with all. If the least visible and least powerful are well cared for, society as a whole is in a healthy state. Start by caring for the vulnerable child within who needs to be empowered with courage to heal from past choices and move on making powerful choices. Ask yourself often, “How is the child within?” May your answer be, “The child within is well.”