Sunday Reflections: The Fight for Our Children is Exhausting, but Important
It seems like every day now there is a new assault to be concerned about. Some lawyers want to know, is literacy a fundamental right? My gut reaction is yes, but the more important question is what happens when literacy rates go down? Spoiler alert: one of the answers is increased crime and incarceration rates.
Many are once again trying to take away healthcare, especially healthcare that covers pre-existing conditions, from the American people. Not only is it generally in-humane, it once again puts communities at risk of higher poverty and crime rates. It puts children at risk.
Many people are complaining because the Houston ISD is offering free breakfast and lunch to all of its students because this is of course tax funded. But what happens when children go through every day hungry? It puts communities at risk for higher poverty and crime rates.
Hundreds of children are sitting in cages that will probably never be reunited to their parents because their parents dared to try and bring them to a better life for safety and hope.
Children in Flint are drinking poisoned water that will have life long health effects.
You probably see a theme here.
It’s especially hard because a lot of these assaults are at the expense of children and as someone who has dedicated their life to working with children, particularly teens, I know first hand the impact that poverty, poor healthcare, poor nutrition and a lack of community support has.
We are failing our children. And in failing our children, we are failing ourselves. No good will come from all of this hatred, greed, selfishness and a lack of caring and nurture for the next generations. None.
It’s easy to despair in the year 2018. I do so frequently, if I’m being honest. I can’t even understand what some of my dearest friends and family are thinking when I hear some of the things they are saying. As a nation, as a culture, we have seem to have lost our heart. We failed to learn from the past.
But there are many who are continuing to fight, and every day more are joining in because this fight matters. The fight for our children, for their health and well being and safety, matters. Not just because it is the humane and moral thing to do, but because it has real consequences.
I’m not going to lie, yesterday I never even got out of my pajamas. I took a day to do nothing, to recharge my batteries. Because it’s easy to read the news, to go to work and see the world around you, and to be completely overwhelmed. Sometimes I don’t even know where to start making a different, it seems like too much is wrong, that I don’t understand the questions, and that this is all so much bigger than me, bigger than any one person.
And it is. It’s bigger than any one person. Which is why we need to be in this together.
We need each other.
And our children need us, to work for them, together.
So I’m getting out of bed today and trying again. I hope you’ll join me on the days that you can.
Filed under: Sunday Reflections
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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