Connections 2000 December

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January
Race, Class, and Civil Rights
February
Poverty, Homelessness, and Unemployment
March 
Imperialism and Economic Injustice
April 
Environment
May 
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June 
Population
July 
Violence
August 
Nuclear weapons
September 
Education, Information, and Communication 
October
Democracy and Religion
November
Hunger and Health Care
December 
Children
December: Children -- Think of schools, healthcare, infant mortality, homelessness, violence, parenting, day care, genital mutilation, television, incest, sexual assault, child labor, child support laws, children's sports, literacy, children's rights, guardian ad litum, families, children's art, literature, music, drama...

"The gods visit the sins of the parents upon the children."
  Euripides, 485-406 BC

In this month when Christians the world over celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and we see again the familiar image of the babe in swaddling clothes lying in a manger, one might think of the births of other babies, 13 million of whom will be born this month. Each of these December, 1999 babies is born into the same world, but into environments that may be vastly different. Some infinitesimally tiny percentage of all of these babies are born into loving families, well prepared to nurture, house, clothe, protect and educate them to live happy, productive lives. Many of these babies will die in their childhood, many will be child soldiers, many will be starved, abused, neglected or killed. Many will live in the world's ghettos, prey to each other and to chronic, self-defeating attempts to gain validity or relief from boredom. Many of those who survive to adulthood will reproduce more babies to perpetuate the cycle.

According to Save the Children Federation, about two million children died in war zones in the past decade. The agency says that children are much more likely than soldiers to be killed in wars. After a war is over, children in the world today go right on being killed picking up or stepping on one of the tens of thousands of leftover land mines. Bombs, bullets, land mines, chemical weapons and machete attacks have permanently injured five million kids in the past 10 years. These children were victims of adults who were willing to allow them to be sacrificed. Of course, the adults are victims themselves, because they were once children faced with being disproportionately vulnerable and being harmed, ad infinitum.

According to a November 1999 report that was the result of combined efforts of the National School Boards Association, the National League of Cities, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital and Youth Crime Watch of America, the most critical threats against U.S. children are abuse and neglect at home; substance abuse; teen pregnancy; inadequate child care; lack of health care; poor schools; and dangers in the environment. Solving these interconnected problems thoroughly would solve all problems because the roots are all woven together.

If each of you reading this would show it to one other person and write a letter during December to a newspaper on the topic, Children, from your particular perspective, the results would be massive.

Go for it!


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