Monday, February 14, 2011

Do we really care about children in the U.S.?

Do we really care about children in the U.S.?


"Somebody's Baby," Barbara Kingsolver, High Tide in Tucson


The one sure thing is that no parent, ever, has turned out to be perfectly wise and exhaustively provident, 1,440 minutes a day, for 18 years. It takes help. Children are not commodities but an incipient world. They thrive best when their upbringing is the collective joy and responsibility of family, neighborhood, communities, and nations. . . .Presuming children to be their parents’ sole property and responsibility is, among other things, a handy way of declaring problem children to be someone else’s problem, or fault, or failure. It’s dangerous remedy; it doesn’t change the fact that somebody else’s kid will ultimately be in your face demanding now with interest what they didn’t get when they were smaller and had simpler needs. . . .
Here in the land of plenty a child dies from poverty every fifty-three minutes, and TV talk shows exhibit teenagers who pierce their flesh with safety pins and rip off their parents every way they know how. All these punks started out as somebody's baby. How on earth, we'd like to know, did they learn to be so isolated and selfish? (pp. 103-104, 106)

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