This week at my school, the Child Advocacy Legal Clinic hosted a symposium celebrating 30 years of clinical work for children.  Tonight was the ending banquet and the keynote speaker was Debbie Stabenow, our US Senator.  I had never heard her speak and I was very impressed.  She spoke about all of the work that has been done, but also about all of the work that still needs to be done.  She reminded us that while we are debating and arguing about what to do, children are growing up – reminding us of the urgency of this work.  I plan on working in child advocacy when I graduate, and tonight reminded me why.  Anyway, the literary aspect of this post is that she closed with a poem that highlights why we need to help children as early as possible.  Here it is:

Children Learn What They Live
By Dorothy Law Nolte

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

2 thoughts on “Children…

  1. Emily April 1, 2007 / 10:38 am

    That's very cool! It must have been very cool to hear Debbie speak, I like her a lot.


  2. Michelle April 1, 2007 / 11:02 am

    It was cool. Unfortunately, she rushed out after her speech, so I didn't get to meet her. I thought she was a great speaker. I like both her and Carl Levin (especially since he's like a rockstar in the Senate now and always on the news).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s